When did the angels win the world series

    Disney’s Baseball Land, now called Angel Stadium and better known at the time as Edison Field, wasn’t the happiest place in the world. When 2001 became 2002, Walt Disney Co. he couldn’t wait to get rid of his baseball team.

    A month before the Angels reported to spring training, team president Tony Tavares resigned. Disney didn’t bother to replace it. The company decided that the guy who ran Disneyland could also run Los Angeles, when he had a few extra minutes.

    that guy, paul pressler, did good. The Angels were about to trade outfielder Darin Erstad to the Chicago White Sox for prospects, and Pressler called off the deal. Closer Troy Percival had promised not to sign a contract extension with the Angels because he believed Tavares had leaked details of the negotiations, and Pressler’s presence convinced him to sign the extension.

    In October, Percival released the final release of the final game of Los Angeles’ first trip to the World Series. flying ball center field. Erstad caught him and the angels were champions. the headline in the Los Angeles times: “fantasyland!”

    Reading: When did the angels win the world series

    For Disney, Los Angeles was the intended base for ESPN West, a possible rival to cable channel Fox Sports West. When the ESPN West concept collapsed, Disney put Los Angeles up for sale.

    The Angels won 99 games that season, then a franchise record. no matter. On the day the Angels clinched their first playoff berth in 16 years, The Times reported that Disney had hired an investment bank to do what the company hadn’t been able to do on its own: sell the Angels. p>

    Meanwhile, the Underdog Angels swept the New York Yankees, Minnesota Twins and San Francisco Giants. Disney boss Michael Eisner showed up at the Los Angeles clubhouse during the playoff race, wearing a Mickey Mouse T-shirt under a blazer.

    At the time, Eisner was one of the most powerful executives in the world, but he was uncomfortably alone in the clubhouse. he had paid little attention to angels over the years, so most players had no idea who he was.

    the world series became a celebration of ownership: not of eisner and disney, but of founding owner gene autry, the only man with five stars on the hollywood walk of fame. autry loved baseball so much that he hosted the team at his palm springs resort for spring training, then watched the exhibition games in the dilapidated ballpark there. there were no luxury suites. he happily attended games sitting on a stool, in an uncomfortably narrow tunnel under the stands.

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    autry had passed away four years earlier, but his wife, jackie, faithfully attended playoff games, even giving outfielder tim salmon one of autry’s cowboy hats. salmon waved it from the field after the final out. finally, the angels had won one for the cowboy.

    There were so many indelible images that October: Erstad making the final catch; Pitcher John Lacayo became the first rookie in 93 years to win Game 7 of the World Series; Second baseman Adam Kennedy hit three home runs to tie a postseason record set by Babe Ruth; Francisco Rodriguez, 20 years old, detaching a lightning bolt from his right arm; Barry Bonds hitting a home run so far that television cameras caught Salmon uttering words of astonishment: “That’s the furthest ball I’ve ever seen hit.”

    However, to a Los Angeles fan, the most vivid memory of that championship season can be summed up in two words: game 6.

    Never before has a team followed so many runs in a World Series elimination game and won again. the angels did it: down by five runs, and with just eight outs to spare. Most memorable hit: A home run by Scott Spiezio, which transformed the journeyman first baseman into a cult hero and, for at least one night that winter, into a rock star.

    Los Angeles manager mike scioscia said after the game that he could only compare the atmosphere in anaheim to southern california baseball’s holiest moment, kirk gibson’s pinch-hit home run in game 1 of the world series 1988 at dodger stadium.

    “there was as much electricity in that stadium as ever,” scioscia said. “I think tonight topped that.”

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    In one hour, the Angels turned a 5-0 deficit into a 6-5 victory. It was the hour that changed the course of a franchise. Although the team owner no longer wanted to own the team, the players wanted to own the team’s image: no more bumbling and stumbling, hexes and hexes buried forever, winners and champions forever.

    As the angels celebrate the 20th anniversary of the championship season, that hour stands between a team and a complete and utter story of worthlessness. Angels didn’t win championships before 2002 and haven’t won championships since.

    if not for that hour, the angels would have gone 61 seasons without a championship. no major league team has played this long without winning a ring.

    If it weren’t for that hour, a team born in 1961 would be 0 for 61.

    a team. one hour.

    the story of that hour, told by the players of that team:

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