PHOENIX (AP) Wild screams and confetti rained down yesterday on the World Series champion Arizona Diamondbacks as fans celebrated Phoenix”s first major professional sports title with a release of emotions that seemed to energize the whole city.

Paul Wong
The city of Phoenix celebrates its first-ever professional sports championship.<br><br>AP PHOTO

Bob Brenly, accompanied by the World Series trophy, salutes the fans during yesterday”s parade. Manager Bob Brenly and the Diamondbacks” World Series trophy rode on the fire engine leading a parade that snaked through downtown en route to a celebration inside Bank One Ballpark, where Arizona defeated the New York Yankees in a dramatic ninth-inning comeback Sunday.

“We”re proud that you came out here and stood up to those Yankees fans,” Brenly told a packed crowd inside the ballpark. “Spring training starts in 98 days. We”ll be back up here a year from today.”

Third baseman Matt Williams differed with Gov. Jane Hull, who told the crowd there was no better feeling than a World Series victory.

“With all due respect to the governor, it does get better than this if we win another one,” Williams said.

An estimated 300,000 fans, most of them dressed in purple and many waving American flags, lined the parade route, cheering and waving wildly as the players rode past on 18 fire trucks.

People blew on horns and other noise makers and confetti fell from some of the buildings.

“It was so difficult to try to get tickets to any of the playoffs or the series games, we wanted to try to grab a little piece of this experience,” said Martin Bencic, a computer consultant from Peoria, Ariz., who attended the midday parade with his two daughters.

Until the World Series victory, history hadn”t been kind to Arizona”s professional sports teams. Of all the metro areas in the United States that have franchises from all four major sports, Phoenix was the only one without a title until this year.

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