Come together: Champion Angels ready to reunite
Former players, coaches to be on hand to celebrate 10th anniversary of Series title
ANAHEIM -- They're getting the band back together.
On Saturday, to culminate their week-long celebration of the Angels' first World Series title, more than 25 of the players and coaches from the 2002 team will reunite at Angel Stadium, the ballpark where the championship was won 10 years ago.
The group will be honored in a ceremony prior to the 6:05 p.m. PT game against the Rays, then gain induction into the Angels Hall of Fame.
"It's something we're all looking forward to," 13th-year Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "I think any time you get a group that achieved what that group achieved together, it's just nice to say hi to them and see them again."
Troy Glaus, the Most Valuable Player of the thrilling, seven-game Fall Classic in which the Angels beat Barry Bonds' Giants, will be there. So will Scott Spiezio, the Game 6 hero. Ditto for Garret Anderson and Tim Salmon, two current FOX Sports West analysts who played a big part in winning Games 2 and 7, respectively.
They'll be joined by many other familiar faces: Clay Bellinger, Mickey Callaway, Jeff DaVanon, Brendan Donnelly, David Eckstein, Darin Erstad, Brad Fullmer, Benji Gil, Al Levine, Mark Lukasiewicz, Bengie Molina, Jose Molina (currently with the Rays), Jose Nieves, Orlando Palmeiro, Troy Percival, Lou Pote, Scot Shields, Scott Schoeneweis, Aaron Sele, Jarrod Washburn, Ben Weber, Matt Wise and Shawn Wooten.
Former bullpen coach Orlando Mercado is also expected to be on hand, along with former bench coach Joe Maddon, now the Tampa Bay manager.
Among the few absentees will be recently dismissed hitting coach Mickey Hatcher, who declined because he'll be traveling for his current employer, the Dodgers. John Lackey, Chone Figgins, Adam Kennedy and Francisco Rodriguez -- currently on other teams -- also won't be on hand. Bud Black's Padres have a 5:35 p.m. PT game at home that day, which would cause him to show up pretty late.
Asked if there's anyone he's specifically looking forward to seeing, Scioscia simply said: "All those guys. I'm going to be happy to have that group together and just celebrate what was an incredible team and an incredible year for us."
Every returning player and coach will don 2002 Angels jerseys, which they'll autograph and sell at auction to benefit the Angels Baseball Foundation. After the game, FSW will air a rebroadcast of Game 7.
As time has passed, Scioscia has gained a deeper understanding for the significance of winning that game.
"I think as you get some rear-view mirrors on that special year, you start to understand what it meant to the Angel fans of the '60s and '70s and '80s and '90s," he said. "Just the fact of people that came up to me when I was in the supermarket or Starbucks or whatever, and saying how their grandfather would've loved it and didn't quite get to see it. That's something you don't get from being out here every day and just going through the grind. It gives you perspective on just what this game is about."
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.