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Halos showed how it's done in '02 run

World Series champions rally after being on the brink of elimination
MLB.com

ANAHEIM -- The 2002 Angels enjoyed one of the most improbable runs to a World Series championship in baseball history.

For starters, the Angels had not even been to the postseason for 15 years before everything came together in one magical season that resulted in the franchise's only World Series title. It was a collection of overachievers and unlikely heroes, a group that persevered and never stopped playing.

ANAHEIM -- The 2002 Angels enjoyed one of the most improbable runs to a World Series championship in baseball history.

For starters, the Angels had not even been to the postseason for 15 years before everything came together in one magical season that resulted in the franchise's only World Series title. It was a collection of overachievers and unlikely heroes, a group that persevered and never stopped playing.

Through all of their accomplishments that year, things just never seemed to come easy for those Angels.

In the Fall Classic against the Giants, the Angels found themselves on the brink of elimination, trailing, 5-0, in the seventh inning of a must-win Game 6 at Angel Stadium. The tide began to turn when Scott Spiezio ripped a three-run homer to right field.

The Angels stormed ahead in the eighth inning, thanks to a leadoff homer from Darin Erstad and a go-ahead two-run double from Troy Glaus. The Rally Monkey was alive and well, and Halos fans went into a frenzy.

Troy Percival nailed down the save in the ninth, setting up Game 7 at Angel Stadium.

The Giants again scored first in Game 7, but the Angels tied it in their half of the second inning. And in the bottom of the third, Garret Anderson, who finished fourth in American League MVP Award voting that year, broke the tie with a three-run double.

The Halos held on for a 4-1 win, completing their Cinderella season -- fitting for a team that plays its home games down the road from Disneyland.

The Giants weren't the only baseball blue bloods the Angels had to conquer on their way to a World Series title.

The Angels won the AL Wild Card, setting up an AL Division Series matchup with the mighty Yankees, who were seeking their fifth straight trip to the World Series. The Halos lost Game 1, and then put together three straight wins to advance to the AL Championship Series against the Twins.

In the ALCS, the Angels again found themselves in a familiar position, losing Game 1 on the road. They weren't rattled, as manager Mike Scioscia pushed all the right buttons and Adam Kennedy provided an offensive spark to lead the Halos to four straight wins and their first trip to the World Series.

Once again, the Angels had defied the odds. Kennedy, not known for his power, crushed three homers in the clinching Game 5 win over the Twins. That game also saw the Halos score 10 runs in the seventh inning to seal their date with the Giants.

The Angels' perseverance that year wasn't limited to the postseason, either. They started the season 6-14. A little more than six months later, they were World Series champions.

Austin Laymance is a reporter for MLB.com.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Los Angeles Angels