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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Baseball's Angels on High

Aired October 28, 2002 - 10:25   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: The Cinderella story, the season brought a happy ending to Anaheim. The Angels clinched game 7 of the World Series, seized the franchise's first championship in 42 years.
CNN's "Sports Illustrated" reporter Josie Karp is in the city, left a bit bleary-eyed by the dramatic finish.

Good morning -- Josie. Thanks for being with us.

JOSIE KARP, CNN SPORTS: Good morning, Anderson.

You know, the theme here is one that you can maybe have predicted going into this, but it says right here on the front page of the special World Series section of the local newspaper, the "Orange County Register, "7th heaven." That of course in reference to the Angels' name and the fact that it took seven games for them to win the first World Series that they'd appeared in as a franchise.

And the unusual thing about game seven last night was they didn't have to have one of those dramatic comebacks. It all ended innocently enough when Kenny Lofton flied out to center field, and one of those long-time Angels, the center fielder, Darin Erstad, got the ball in his glove. And afterwards -- just moments afterward, he said, he was still having a hard time comprehending that the Angels, his Angles, had actually won the World Series.

And I'm standing here in Anaheim, the stadium is right behind me, and I'm at a shopping district. And I found a couple of life-long Orange County residents and life-lone Angel fans, who kind of share in Darin Erstad's feeling.

I have Bret (ph) and Vicky (ph) with me. Again, they both grew up in Orange County, have lived here their entire lives.

Bret (ph), first tell me what went through your mind when Darin Erstad caught that ball?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was absolute euphoria. It was just incredible, seeing him catch that ball and then winning it for the World Series. It was a feeling unlike -- words can't even describe it. It's just indescribable. Angels did it, baby. They did it.

KARP: Now, Vicky (ph), what makes it so unbelievable to you? is it the history, having lived through so much of the heartbreak? Because this was an organization that was known for its failures, not its successes. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That was it entirely. We've been through so much. I mean, looking back through the years, we've gotten so close, and we finally did it. We did it! I'm so happy for them.

KARP: I have to ask both of you. The game that they are going to talk about forever in this World Series is game 6, because the Angels were down 5-0 in the seventh inning. You have to be completely honest with me. Did you turn off the TV and did you go to bed when they were down 5-0 in the seventh?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I didn't turn it off, but I did go to other stations. And then (UNINTELLIGIBLE) I went back to the game, because I couldn't give up on them. And by god, they turned it around. I was totally amazed.

KARP: Vicky (ph), honest answer.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We did not turn off the TV. We did not change channels. We are the come-from-behind kings, and I had a feeling that they were going to do it that night.

KARP: Now, Vicky (ph), I know that you have a daughter. Do you ever have any misgivings about letting her be an Angels fan? Because you had all -- you lived through all of the heartbreak, and having grown up in Boston, you know, I can understand a little bit about heartbreak. Tell me, did you ever feel bad that you had created this little girl who was going to go through her whole life being an Angels fan, and they might not win.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, I -- my daughter loves sports period, and she loves the Angels, she loves the Lakers. She's a hometown girl. It's just one of those things.

KARP: And I understand that Vicky (ph) right now is not considering letting her daughter go to the victory parade, which is scheduled to come right behind me up Catelli Avenue (ph), but on further review that might change, guys.

Back to you.

COOPER: All right, Josie, thanks very much.

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