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Larry Fitzgerald, Luis Gonzalez, others salute Arizona sports fan John McCain

Posted: 8:43 PM, Aug 25, 2018
Updated: 2018-08-26 12:48:24Z

Along with being a longtime U.S. Senator and American war hero, John McCain was known as being one of the biggest sports fans in the Grand Canyon State.

McCain, who passed away Saturday at age 81,  was often seen attending professional and collegiate sporting events in the state, including during the Arizona Diamondbacks' 2001 World Series run.

Among others, Arizona Cardinals star receiver Larry Fitzgerald and Diamondbacks World Series hero Luis Gonzalez were longtime friends of McCain. Gonzalez shot a TV ad supporting McCain's reelection bid for the U.S. Senate in 2016.

"Rest in peace to an American hero, statesman, servant of the people, and dear friend. Godspeed Senator McCain. My prayers for Cindy and the beautiful McCain family," Fitzgerald tweeted Saturday night.

"Senator McCain was not only a great man and patriot but also a loyal D-backs fan. I’m proud to have called him a dear friend. On behalf of my entire family, our thoughts and prayers are with Cindy and the McCain family," Gonzalez tweeted.

“John McCain has always been a member of the D-backs’ family and was one of this team’s biggest fans since day one,” D-backs President and CEO Derrick Hall said in a statement. “He was in attendance at the expansion draft, the World Series and countless other games, remaining a fan through thick and thin. I am honored to consider him a friend and we will miss seeing his smiling face in the stands and our heartfelt thoughts go out to his entire family.”

Along with the D-backs, the Cardinals, Phoenix Suns, Arizona Coyotes and Phoenix Rising FC, along with ASU, UA and GCU, paid tribute to McCain via social media. The D-backs announced McCain will be honored before Sunday's game vs. the Mariners at Chase Field. ASU's volleyball team held a moment of silence for McCain before its match Saturday night.