The 2002 World Series was the 98th edition of the Fall Classic, held from October 19-27, 2002. The series featured the American League champion Anaheim Angels defeating the National League champion San Francisco Giants, 4–3, to win the franchise's first ever World Series.
The series was notable as being the first (and as of 2008 only) time since the 1995 inception of the Wild card in Major League Baseball that two wild card teams would vie for the title. It was also the fourth World Series played between two teams from California (after 1974, 1988, and 1989).
Adding to the drama was the fact that both teams and their fans came into the series carrying the baggage of a long history of futility, frustration and disappointment in their quest to capture the elusive world championship. The Angels, a Major League club since 1961, had never before played in the World Series. They had come close several times, including heartbreaking losses in the ALCS in 1982 to the Milwaukee Brewers and in 1986 to the Boston Red Sox. In both series, the Angels blew leads and lost the last 3 games to lose the series. The Giants had won their last World Series crown in 1954, when they were still the New York Giants. Since moving to San Francisco after the 1957 season, the Giants had made it to the series twice but lost both times. These included a dramatic, down-to-the-wire loss to their rivals, the Yankees in the seven-game 1962 Fall Classic, and a four-game sweep by the Oakland Athletics in the earthquake-marred 1989 World Series. In addition, they finished 2nd in the National League several times.
The Angels won the seven-game 2002 series after staging a remarkable come-from-behind victory in Game 6. The Giants had won Game 4 on an eighth inning RBI single that was ruled unearned and took Game 5 in a 16–4 blowout. Going into Game 6, the Giants held a 3–2 series lead and seemed well on their way to winning the club's first world championship in 48 years and the first for their West Coast fans. The Giants continued their mastery into the late innings of Game 6, entering the bottom of the seventh inning with a commanding 5–0 lead. Only eight outs away from elimination, however, the Angels suddenly came to life and rallied for three runs in that inning. The Angels added three more in the eighth, to win the game 6–5 and force a seventh and deciding game. Having stolen the thunder from the stunned Giants, the Angels cruised to an easy 4-1 victory in the final game to reward their fans with the franchise's first world championship.
|1||San Francisco Giants - 4, Anaheim Angels - 3||October 19||Edison International Field of Anaheim||44,603|
|2||San Francisco Giants - 10, Anaheim Angels - 11||October 20||Edison International Field of Anaheim||44,584|
|3||Anaheim Angels - 10, San Francisco Giants - 4||October 22||Pacific Bell Park||42,707|
|4||Anaheim Angels - 3, San Francisco Giants - 4||October 23||Pacific Bell Park||42,703|
|5||Anaheim Angels - 4, San Francisco Giants - 16||October 24||Pacific Bell Park||42,713|
|6||San Francisco Giants - 5, Anaheim Angels - 6||October 26||Edison International Field of Anaheim||44,506|
|7||San Francisco Giants - 1, Anaheim Angels - 4||October 27||Edison International Field of Anaheim||44,598|
San Francisco won 4-3 at Edison International Field of Anaheim (now Angel Stadium of Anaheim) to take a 1-0 lead. Barry Bonds hit a home run in his first career World Series at-bat. He was one of three Giants to homer</nowiki> in the game (the other two were Reggie Sanders and JT Snow). Troy Glaus hit 2 home runs for the Angels.
Anaheim won 11-10 at home in a game where the lead kept fluctuating between the two teams, tying up the series. Bonds again hit a mammoth homer with 2 outs in the 9th inning, off of Troy Percival. The biggest home run of the night, however, was hit by Tim Salmon, a longtime Angel, with 2 outs and one on in the bottom of the 8th. The dramatic blast won the game for the Angels.
Anaheim won 10-4 in the first World Series game at Pacific Bell Park (now AT&T Park), both in the series and in any Fall Classic (since Game 3 of the 1989 World Series). The Angels batted around twice without a home run in either of their 4-run innings. Barry Bonds hit another home run, becoming the first man to homer in his first 3 World Series games.
San Francisco scored a 4-3 victory to tie the series. NLCS MVP Benito Santiago tied the game with a single in the 5th inning after the Angels walked Barry Bonds with a runner on second and two outs. David Bell put the Giants ahead with an RBI single in the bottom of the 8th. The run was unearned due to Anaheim catcher Bengie Molina's passed ball during the previous at-bat, allowing J.T. Snow to move to second.
San Francisco took a 16-4 blowout win in a game in which the Angels never led. The most well-known moment in this game occurred when Giants first baseman J.T. Snow scored off a Kenny Lofton triple. 3-year-old batboy Darren Baker, son of Giants manager Dusty Baker, ran to home plate to collect Lofton's bat before the play was completed and was quickly lifted by the jacket by Snow as he crossed the plate, with David Bell close on his heels. Had Snow not acted quickly, Darren could have been seriously injured.
The turning point in the series came in Game 6. Leading 5–0 with one out in the bottom of the 7th inning, 8 outs away from the Giants' first World Series title in San Francisco, Giants manager Dusty Baker pulled starting pitcher Russ Ortiz for setup man Félix Rodríguez after Ortiz gave up consecutive singles to third baseman Troy Glaus and designated hitter Brad Fullmer. In a widely publicized move, Baker gave Ortiz the game ball as he sent him back to the dugout. During the pitching change the Rally Monkey came on the JumboTron, sending 45,037 Angels fans into a frenzy. Angel first baseman Scott Spiezio came to the plate and fouled off pitch after pitch before finally hitting a 3-run home run that barely cleared the wall in right field. The rally continued in the 8th inning, as Angel center fielder Darin Erstad hit a leadoff line-drive home run, followed by consecutive singles by Tim Salmon andGarret Anderson. (Chone Figgins pinch ran for Salmon.) When Bonds misplayed Anderson's shallow left field bloop single, Figgins and Anderson took third and second respectively. With no outs, two runners in scoring position and now only a 5–4 lead, Baker brought in closer Robb Nen to pitch to Glaus, hoping that Nen could induce another strikeout, that might yet preserve the Giants' slim lead. However, Glaus slugged a double to the left-center field gap over Bonds' head to drive in the tying and winning runs. In the 9th inning, Angels closer Troy Percival struck out Rich Aurilia to preserve the 6-5 victory in front of the jubilant home crowd. The comeback from a 5-run deficit was the largest in World Series history for an elimination game.
Game 7 proved to be somewhat anticlimactic after the drama of Game 6. The Giants scored the first run on a sacrifice, but the Angels responded with a run-scoring double from catcher Bengie Molina and a 3-run double to right field from left fielder Garret Anderson to open a 4-1 lead. Rookie starting pitcher John Lackey maintained that lead, as well as fellow rookies Brendan Donnely and Francisco Rodriguez in the 6th through 8th innings. In the 9th inning, closer Troy Percival provided some tense moments as he opened the inning by putting two Giants on base, with only one out. But Tsuyoshi Shinjo – the first Japanese player in a World Series game - struck out swinging, and Kenny Lofton, also representing the tying run, flied out to Darin Erstad in right-center field to end the Series. The Angels won Game 7, 4-1, to claim their franchise's first and so far only World Series Championship. John Lackey became the first rookie pitcher to win a World Series game 7 since 1909.
The morning after the win, The Orange County Register celebrated the Angels' win with the headline "7th Heaven," referring to the Angels' name and fact that it took seven games for the Angels to win the World Series, and in doing so, it sent them to seventh heaven. The name "7th Heaven" was adopted by MLB Productions in the DVD release's tagline: "Heaven in Seven".