The 2002 World Series belonged to Troy Glaus. The Angels third baseman hit three home runs, drove in eight and batted .385 against the San Francisco Giants, winning the MVP award in his team’s seven-game victory.
But Glaus’ two most critical hits weren’t quite so dramatic as home runs. In fact, his biggest contributions were a single and a double in Game 6, the defining contest in the Angels’ first World Series championship.
Glaus – born in Tarzana, raised in Carlsbad and groomed at UCLA – is scheduled to throw out the ceremonial first pitch Friday night as the Angels celebrate the 10-year anniversary of their World Series triumph. But it’s his bat, not his arm, that Angels fans remember most.
Glaus played a pivotal role in both innings that helped the Angels rally from a 5-0 deficit to a 6-5 win, turning the tide of the Series just as it appeared the Giants were poised to close it out. His seventh-inning single, along with a single by Brad Fullmer, preceded Scott Spiezio’s home run that made it 5-3, and his two-run double in the eighth gave the Angels a 6-5 lead after Darin Erstad’s home run.
Glaus enjoyed an impressive regular season, hitting 30 home runs and driving in a career-high 111 to help the Angels reach the postseason. Although he hit 47 home runs in 2000 (still the club’s single-season record) and 41 in 2001, it wasn’t until the team’s title-winning season that he grew into his role as the Angels’ most dangerous hitter.
“He had some terrific seasons before, but he really started to get comfortable in the major leagues and comfortable with the fact that he could he hit in the middle of a championship caliber lineup,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “When you put Tim (Salmon) and Garret (Anderson) and Troy together, you had a middle of the lineup that was as good as any in baseball. Troy was a big part of our organization and a big part of that ’02 team.”
Glaus hit two homers in Game 1, becoming only the sixth player to hit two in his first World Series game. In 16 postseason games, he batted .344 with seven home runs, 13 RBIs and 11 extra-base hits.
Glaus later played two seasons with Toronto, two with St. Louis and one with Atlanta, but his career was beset by various injuries, and he was cited in the 2007 Mitchell Report as one of 47 players who may have used illegal steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs.
Glaus suffered from a torn rotator cuff and frayed labrum in his right shoulder and allegedly received shipments of two forms of anabolic steroids between September 2003 and May 2004 while he played for the Angels. He was never suspended and retired after the 2010 season.
Only fans will determine if Glaus’ career, which includes 320 career homers (182 with the Angels), is tainted by the steroids scandal. But his 2002 World Series performance is indelibly etched in the team’s history.