Darin Erstad was the heart and soul of the Angels from 1997 to 2006, and a big reason why the team won the 2002 World Series. Erstad, who had played football and baseball at Nebraska, approached the sport with a football player's mentality, running into walls to make catches and running out every ball he hit.
When you look at his numbers, Erstad only had one great season with the Angels: 2000, when he hit .355 with 25 homers, 100 RBIs and 121 runs scored. For a while, he flirted with breaking the record for most hits in a season before finishing with 240, 17 shy of the record at the time.
Although he never reached those heights again (in fact, he never even hit .300 again), Erstad was a key part of the 2002 World Series champs, hitting .421 in a four-game win over the New York Yankees in the ALDS, .364 in a five-game win over Minnesota in the ALCS, and .300 with a homer in the seven-game win over the San Francisco Giants.
Erstad won three gold gloves and was named to two all-star teams with the Angels. On the team's all-time list, he is 10th in batting average (.286), fifth in games played (1,320), fourth in runs scored (818) and fourth in hits (1,505).
Erstad is currently head coach of Nebraska's baseball team.
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