By Jon D. Gaede
The Anaheim Angels out slug the San Francisco Giants and are Crowned
2002 World Series Champions!
For four decades the Angels have ended their arduous seasons as also-rans. For forty years their loyal fans have grown older and wearier.
Many had simply stopped coming to the park unless a friend or someone at the office handed them some tickets. How quickly times can change. The good times are here in the Southland.
The 1961 Los Angeles Angels have come a long way. The journey has brought them all the way. The 2002 "Anaheim Angels" have out battled them all and are fittingly crowned World Series Champions at last!
Make no mistake about it, this years club earned this title. They were gritty, tenacious and relentless. On their ascent to the crown they won 99 games, a club record. They had some 42 come from behind victories and a few more in critical games of the post season.
The Angels beat the mighty Yankees. Yes, the "Bronx Bombers" themselves. This series was exhausting for both teams as the Angles eventually wore down the best pitchers that money can buy. Clemens and Rivera "The Mound People" were left to heave their gloves against the dugout wall as the Angel bats hammered them in six games. The Minnesota Twins, high on out lasting the story-book Oakland A's, had their bats silenced by great Angel pitching and Anaheim was on their way to baseball's greatest stage.
The all-California series finale was not a national favorite, however, the clubs did not disappoint. The Angels fell behind by losing game one. This had become a pattern for them, one that they over came throughout the playoffs. Anaheim and San Francisco earned a few frequent flier miles up and down the coast as the Giants muscled their way to a 3 to 2 game lead. One could predict another Barry Bonds homer and MVP trophy to go with it.
Game six and the series seemed to be a lock as the Giants led 5-0 in the sixth. Scott Spezio changed that by hitting a late inning three run homer. Troy Glaus, the eventual MVP, then cleared the bases with a double that put the Angels ahead 6-5. The rest is World Series history as game seven and the 2002 championship goes to the "never say die" Anaheim Angels.
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