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SPOTLIGHT

Monkey Business Is Just Kid Stuff

October 25, 2002|Diane Pucin

SAN FRANCISCO — The costume was bought a year ago. It was going to be for Halloween. But you know how 7-year-olds are. Liam Parsekian never dressed in the monkey suit. It hung in his closet at home in Laguna Niguel until the baseball playoffs started.

"You know, that monkey costume looks just like the rally monkey," Liam Parsekian told his dad, Thomas, a Laguna Niguel attorney.

Liam would know. His family has season tickets right behind home plate. Liam loves the rally monkey and he asked Thomas if he could bring the suit to the playoffs. Liam followed the rally monkey rules, didn't put the suit on until after the sixth inning, only if the Angels were behind.

And now Liam is a star. He and Thomas were flown to New York this week so Liam could be on "The Caroline Rhea Show." He has been on CBS and NBC morning shows locally.

But more meaningful than anything was the call the Parsekians got Thursday. Officials at Western Medical Center in Santa Ana asked if Liam could come to the hospital Saturday morning. Dressed as the rally monkey, of course.

"I think that's the greatest thing," Thomas Parsekian said. "This whole thing has been amazing, how it's taken off. It really was just a boy who wanted to be the rally monkey. The people at the hospital thought that if Liam came and passed out rally monkeys to the sick kids, it would really make a difference."

Liam also has been asked to shoot a remote in front of Edison Field Saturday for a San Francisco station. And he was such hit on "The Caroline Rhea Show" that Liam and Thomas are being flown back to New York for a Monday appearance. Either the Angels will be World Series champions or looking forward to trying again next year.

ALL CLEAR: Bobby Grich was a member of the Angels' 1979, 1982 and 1986 American League West-champion teams that tasted bitter disappointment in the playoffs.

The Angels lost to Baltimore in the 1979 AL championship series, blew a two-games-to-none lead and lost to Milwaukee in the 1982 AL championship series and were one strike away from the World Series in 1986 before Dave Henderson's homer off Donnie Moore in Game 5 of the AL championship series sparked Boston's comeback from a three-games-to-one deficit.

Grich returned to the Angels in February, working as a part-time on-field instructor in spring training and for the marketing and public relations departments during the season, and he has been traveling with the Angels throughout the playoffs.

Win or lose against the Giants in the World Series, Grich, who started the Angels' alumni association this season, believes these Angels have eased the frustration of those who stumbled before them.

"Everyone associated with Angel baseball felt the weight off their shoulders as far as the fortunes of this franchise," Grich said. "It cleared the air, the blanket has been lifted, the curse is gone. They got to the World Series. They've exorcised all the ghosts. There's nothing but a green light ahead."

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