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WORLD SERIES | ANGEL NOTES

Double Fun for Molinas

October 28, 2002|--Helene Elliott, Bill Shaikin

Meet Bengie Molina, power hitter.

The Angel catcher hit two doubles Sunday, his first extra-base hits of the Series. That also earned him the distinction of becoming the first catcher with two doubles in a World Series game since Atlanta's Javy Lopez hit two on Oct. 25, 1995, in Game 4 against Cleveland.

"I told him, 'You've been getting down on yourself. Today is going to be your day,' " batting coach Mickey Hatcher said. "He was mad at himself. He had a great day."

That he did. But for Molina, individual accomplishments meant nothing.

"If I look around me and see my teammates celebrating with tears in their eyes, I know we did a great job," he said. "I just wanted to be part of this."

Much of his family was part of the celebration.

His wife, Biby, recorded the postgame celebrations on the field with a camcorder, almost too excited to hold it still. His daughters, Kyshly and Kelssy, joined their parents on the field, running around with the children of other players.

His brother, backup catcher Jose, lifted Kyshly and Kelssy off the ground in bearhugs, laughing and smiling non-stop.

However, both brothers would like to have shared the day with their father, Benjamin Sr. However, he was busy being inducted into the Puerto Rican amateur baseball hall of fame Sunday in San Juan.

Bengie and Jose had expected to be able to attend the ceremony, but the Angels' unexpected postseason success put a crimp in those plans.

"It was strange," Bengie said. "They were all saying, 'We hope you're not here.' "

--Helene Elliott

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The Angels are the 13th franchise to win the World Series championship in their first try. They're also the sixth expansion franchise to win, joining the Mets, Royals, Blue Jays, Marlins and Diamondbacks.

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Angel first baseman Scott Spiezio allowed a Major League Baseball production crew to film him as he drove to Edison Field on Sunday, for possible use in the World Series home video. The idea was to capture a player's thoughts during the long drive to the ballpark for Game 7, but Spiezio already had moved out of his summer home and into a hotel adjacent to Edison Field.

"It's only a two-minute drive," Spiezio said. "I did a U-turn and drove back, so they could get eight minutes."

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The World Series MVP ceremony Sunday was smoother than the one 14 years ago, one that left Hatcher waiting to accept an award he did not win.

In 1988, Hatcher starred in the Dodgers' World Series victory, hitting .368 with two home runs and driving in five runs in the five games. Network television production assistants dragged him away from the Dodger celebration, telling him he had won the World Series MVP award and he needed to accept the award on television immediately.

When he got to the podium, the producers informed him they had made a mistake. They had meant to send for Orel Hershiser, not Hatcher. .

Bill Shaikin

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