From the diving catches, his reckless abandon on the base-paths and his penchant for getting the hit when the team needed it. Erstad will be remembered as one of the finest hard-nosed players the team has ever had.
His leadership on and off the field is always what impressed me with Erstad moreso than his on the field performances. Erstad with the help of other veterans took to heart Mike Scioscia’s “one game at a time” style of play. It would have been very easy for Angel veterans to ignore that mantra and continue to play for their stats. But it was Erstad who bought into it, and led. The result was a World Series Championship.
A story went around the media after the Game 5 route that the SF Giants put on the Angels. Facing elimination and a glum group of Angels on the team bus back to the airport Erstad stood up in the front of the bus and asked his teammates.
“If you were told in spring training that you’d be two wins away from winning a World Series in October wouldn’t you be excited?”
The mood on the bus lightened up. The Angels let go of Game 5 and the rest was history.
And who was the man at the plate that slammed a solo shot into the right-field stands to bring the team one run closer? It was Erstad.
Thanks for the memories Darin. You will always be in the memories and hearts of Angels fans
around the country.
“Fly ball center field, Erstad says he’s got it, Erstaaaaaad…MAKES THE CATCH! THE ANAHEIM ANGELS ARE THE CHAMPIONS OF BASEBALL! JUST ANOTHER HALO VICTORY!” – Angels radio broadcaster Rory Markas.