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SPOTLIGHT

Dodgers' Daly Pulls for Angels to Win

October 28, 2002|From Staff Reports

There was little doubt where Dodger Chairman Bob Daly's allegiances were Sunday night -- the Brooklyn native was seated two rows behind the Angel dugout for Game 7 in Edison Field.

"I grew up hating the Giants and loving Gene Autry, so for me this was easy," Daly said of the late Angel owner. "The Angels waited 42 years for a World Series, they have a good team, they've played very well, and it's been a very, very exciting Series. I've enjoyed it."

The Angels have long been considered a poor stepchild to the Dodgers in the Southern California market, but while this season could change their image in the eyes of some fans, Daly doesn't expect the Angels to cut into the Dodgers' fan base or future ticket sales.

"This is a pretty big city, and there's certainly room for both teams," Daly said. "There's so much history with the Dodgers, I'm not worried."

AND YOU ARE? Spotted entering Edison Field on Sunday night was Tony Tavares, the former Angel president whose turbulent six-year tenure as the team's top executive ended when he resigned in January. The guess here is that Tavares was not on Angel closer Troy Percival's pass list.

--Mike DiGiovanna

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COMEBACK: Former Angel pitcher Jim Abbott, who threw out the ceremonial first pitch before Game 7, still lives in Orange County, a region long apathetic to the Angels but suddenly crazy in love with its team.

"It's heartwarming," Abbott said. "It's awesome to see the excitement. It's great for all the guys who have to go to dinners and all the things required of baseball players in the winter. They'll be able to hear good things, and they deserve it."

Abbott, 35, who retired in 1999, said he would be interested in rejoining the Angels, perhaps as a part-time pitching instructor. He is hesitant to spend too much time away from home, with daughters ages 5 and 2, but eager to return to the game.

"I think baseball is in my future," he said.

Joe Maddon, the Angels' bench coach, caught the pitch from Abbott. Maddon has been with the Angels since 1975 as a minor league player, minor league manager, scout, major league coach and three-time major league interim manager.

--BILL SHAIKIN

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HUSTLE: The Hustle Award for memorable Game 6 goes not to any players, but to the stadium electricians.

Although the workers refused comment, sources say they set up the entire celebratory postgame television stage in the Giant clubhouse in the eighth inning, only to quickly tear it down during the ninth.

BEST EVER? While the Angels' rebound from a five-run deficit in Game 6 was officially the greatest comeback in an elimination game in World Series history, you have to wonder....

The previous best comeback was from four runs down, a record held by two teams, including the 1919 Chicago White Sox.

Considering those were the infamous Black Sox, with several players allegedly trying to lose the game intentionally, their comeback from a 4-0 deficit to beat the Cincinnati Reds, 5-4, on Oct. 7, 1919, was impressive indeed.

BILL PLASCHKE

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HAPPY DAYS: The Angels' postseason success is a case of Kevin Uhlich, the club's senior vice president of business, having his cake and eating it too.

Uhlich celebrated his 45th birthday Oct. 5, the day the Angels wrapped up their division series victory over the New York Yankees.

His twin boys, Chase and Cody, celebrated their 7th birthday sitting with their parents and watching the Angels play the Giants in Game 7 of the World Series.

And daughter Katie turns 2 on Wednesday, when the candles figure to merely enhance her dad's glow.

--ROSS NEWHAN

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SOUNDS FAMILIAR: As soon as the Angels wrapped up Game 6 on Saturday night when the Giants' Rich Aurilia struck out on a Percival fastball, Fox's Joe Buck said over the wild cheers of the Anaheim faithful, "We'll see you tomorrow night!"

Eleven years earlier, Jack Buck, also partnered with analyst Tim McCarver, uttered the same words over a raucous Metrodome crowd as Minnesota Twin star Kirby Puckett's walk-off home run in the bottom of the 11th sent the 1991 World Series against the Atlanta Braves to a decisive Game 7.

"Even though I knew that if I said it, it wouldn't come out as well, I thought that, if provided the right opportunity, I'd like to use my father's line from Game 6 of the '91 Series," said Buck, whose father died in June. "I was right. Dad's call was better, but I'm glad I said it. It was a perfect way to end the great game we'd just seen, and a very special personal moment for myself."

-- LARRY STEWART

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