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On This Date in Sports October 27, 2002: Angels Earn Their Rings

In collaboration with the Sportsecyclopedia.com

The Anaheim Angels win the World Series, beating the San Francisco Giants 4-1 in Game 7 in Anaheim. After four decades of frustration, the Angels made their first appearance in the Fall Classic, while the Giants, in Barry Bonds' only World Series appearance, fell short of achieving their ultimate goal. Bonds hit four home runs and batted .471 in the Fall Classic, but Troy Glaus, who had three home runs and eight RBI for the Angels, was named World Series MVP. 

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The Anaheim Angels made their first playoff appearance in 16 years in 2002, grabbing the Wild Card in the American League with a record of 99-63. Managed by Mike Scioscia, the Angels finished 75-87 in 2001 but turned things around thanks partly to new uniforms that carried a more traditional look than much-criticized periwinkle winged uniforms. The Angels stunned the New York Yankees in four games to win the Division Series. The Yankees were seeking a fifth straight trip to the World Series, as the Angels won their first postseason series in franchise history. In the ALCS, the Angels defeated the Minnesota Twins in five games. The Twins had upset the "Money Ball" Oakland Athletics in the ALDS. 

The San Francisco Giants, managed by Dusty Baker, also made the playoffs via the Wild Card, posting a record of 95-67. In the playoffs, the Giants, led by MVP Barry Bonds, won their first postseason series since 1989, beating the Atlanta Braves in a five-game series. They would follow it up by taking down the St. Louis Cardinals in five games to set up the first all-California World Series since the Giants played the Athletics in the 1989 earthquake-ravaged series. 

The 2002 World Series was the first to feature two Wild Card teams, as the series began in Anaheim. Jason Schmidt made the start for the Giants, while Jarrod Washburn got the start for Anaheim. Barry Bonds, who had struggled in previous Octobers, hit a home run in his first World Series at bat in the second inning. Reggie Sanders followed with a home run two batters later to give the Giants an early 2-0 lead. Troy Glaus hit a home run for the Angels in the bottom of the second. In the sixth inning, the Giants extended their lead to 4-1 on a two-run bomb by J.T. Snow. Glaus had a second home run in the bottom of the sixth as the Angels cut the deficit to one run. The Giants would hold on to win 4-3, as Felix Rodriguez, Tim Worrell, and Rob Nen did not allow a hit over the final three and one-third innings. 

In Game 2, Russ Ortiz, who won Game 5 against the Braves in Atlanta in the NLDS, made the start for the Giants, while Kevin Appier started for Anaheim. Neither starter went deep in the game, as the Angels scored five runs in the first, with Brad Fulmer stealing home. The Giants answered with four runs in the second as Reggie Sanders hit a three-run home run, while David Bell followed with a solo shot. Tim Salmon hit a two-run home run to chase Ortiz in the second inning, while Jeff Kent sent Appier to the showers with .  a home run in the third. The Giants surged in front with four runs off John Lackey and Ben Weber in the fifth. Scott Spiezio's sac-fly cut the Giants' lead to 9-8 in the bottom of the inning. The Angels would tie the game on an RBI single in the sixth. In the eighth inning, Tim Salmon hit a two-run home run off Felix Rodriguez. Barry Bonds would hit his second home run in the ninth inning but did it with two-outs, as Troy Percival got Benito Santiago to pop up to second base to end the game, as the Angels evened the series with an 11-10 win. 

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In Game 3, the Angels had Ramon Ortiz on the mound against Livan Hernandez for the first World Series game at Pac-Bell Park in San Francisco. The Giants scratched out a run in the first inning, but the Angels bats stayed hot from Game 2, scoring four runs in the third and fourth innings without hitting a home run. The Giants got back in the game with three runs in the fifth, as Rich Aurilia and Barry Bonds each had home runs. However, the Halos added runs in the sixth and eighth to win the game 10-4, as Brendan Donnelley and Scott Schowenweiss were dominant out of the bullpen. 

With John Lackey making the start for the Angels and Kirk Rueter getting the start for San Francisco, the Angels again got off to a fast start as Troy Glaus homered in the third inning to build a 3-0 lead. The Giants battled back to tie the game with three runs in the fifth, as the game went into the bullpen. Felix Rodriguez, Tim Worrell, and Rob Nen allowed just one hit over the final four innings for the Giants. The Giants took the lead in the eighth inning as David Bell had an RBI single against Francisco Rodriguez. The 20-year-old nicknamed "K-Rod," who made his debut in September, had five wins in the postseason for Anaheim, including the win in Game 2 of the World Series, got the loss as the Giants won 4-3, thanks to a passed ball by Bengie Molina that allowed J.T. Snow to get into scoring position. 

The Giants would take a 3-2 lead with a dominant 16-4 win in Game 5, which had the City of San Francisco ready to celebrate. Jason Schmidt made the start for the Giants but did not pitch the required five innings to get the win, allowing three runs on seven hits while pitching four and one-third innings. The Giants scored three runs in the first two innings to build a 6-0 lead, as Jarrod Washburn was ineffective for the Angels. The Angels scored three runs in the fifth to chase Schmidt, as Chad Zerbe got the win, despite allowing a run in the sixth. The Giants began to pull away in the sixth, as Jeff Kent hit a two-run home run to make the score 8-4. The Giants added four runs in the seventh as J.T. Snow scored on a triple by Kenny Lofton, saving Dusty Baker's young son from being run over while crossing home plate. Jeff Kent followed with a two-run bomb, as he had four RBI and scored four runs in the blowout. The Giants added four additional runs in the eighth as Rich Aurilia hit a three-run blast for the final score of 16-4. 

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The Giants went into Game 6 back in Anaheim with a chance to win the World Series. Russ Ortiz made the start for San Francisco, while Kevin Appier was on the mound for the Angels. The game was scoreless until the fifth inning, when Shawon Dunston had a two-run blast for the Giants, while Kenny Lofton scored on a wild pitch to make it 3-0. Barry Bonds homered off Francisco Rodriguez in the sixth inning to extend the lead to 4-0. Jeff Kent had an RBI single in the seventh to give the Giants a 5-0 lead, as victory was at hand for the Giants.

Russ Ortiz had been dominant for the Giants but ran out of gas in the seventh, allowing two hits after Garrett Anderson grounded out to start the inning. Dusty Baker removed Ortiz and gave him the baseball, anticipating that the Giants were about to celebrate a World Championship. Scott Spiezio greeted Felix Rodriguez with a three-run home run to breathe life into the Angels. In the eighth inning, the Angels got closer as Darrin Erstad homered off Tim Worrell. Following singles by Tim Salmon and Garrett Anderson, Rob Nen entered the game and gave up a two-run double to Troy Glaus that gave Anaheim a 6-5 lead. Troy Percival pitched a perfect ninth to earn the save as the Angels stunned the Giants 6-5 to force a seventh game, with Brendan Donnelley, earning the win.

In Game 7, John Lackey started for the Angels, while Livan Hernandez made the start for the Giants. Reggie Sanders gave the Giants a 1-0 lead with a sac fly in the second, while Bengie Molina answered with an RBI double. In the third inning, the Angels took a 4-1 lead with a bases-clearing double by Garrett Anderson. Lackey pitched effectively for the Angels allowing one run on four hits to earn the win. The bullpen, meanwhile slammed the door shut on the Giants, as Brendan Donnelley allowed one hit in two innings. Francisco Rodriguez had three strikeouts around a Barry Bonds walk in the eighth to hand the game over to closer Troy Percival. Percival pitched around a walk, as Kenny Lofton ended the World Series with a flyout to Darrin Erstad in centerfield, to set off a celebration in Anaheim.