Top 50 Angel Stadium Moments #21-25. Playoffs, No-Hitters and Clinchers.
#22 – David Eckstein hits back-to-back grand slams in consecutive games vs. Toronto including a walk-off. April 27th-28th 2002.
When the Angels won the World Series in 2002 there were many magical moments. Comebacks were aplenty led by the diminutive Rally Monkey. With Angels sitting at 7-14 on April 27th, the Angels were in need of a spark, and they found it from the most unlikeliest of sources, 5 foot 6 inch shortstop David Eckstein.
Going into the bottom of the fifth inning against Toronto the Angels were tied at 4. After the Angels scored three runs to take a 7-4 lead, Eckstein stepped to the plate trying to add some insurance with the bases loaded. Eckstein hit a drive to left field off of Toronto’s Scott Cassidy and when the ball cleared the wall the Angels dugout erupted as did the fans as Eckstein had just hit the first grand slam of the season and pushed the Angels lead to 11-4 which ended up being the final score.
The very next day the Angels found themselves in need of a spark again trailing 5-4 in the bottom of the 14th inning hoping for a sweep of the Blue Jays. With two outs and the bases loaded, Eckstein again stepped to the plate trying to be the hero. Eckstein then took a 1-1 pitch from the Blue Jays Pedro Borbon Jr. and depositing it into the Blue Jays bullpen for a walk-off grand slam giving the Angels a 8-5 victory and a three-game sweep.
The Angels finally had some momentum in 2002 and it fueled them to an eight game winning streak to even their record at 14-14. But they did not stop there as they won 21 of their next 24 games that helped fuel the Angels into first place for a time. For good measure on June 9th Eckstein hit his third grand slam of the season to help the Angels to a 7-4 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.
Eckstein became only the second Angels player to hit three grand slams in a season with Joe Rudi being the other in both 1978 and 1979. Eckstein got the nickname as the X-Factor and he was definitely that in 2002 for the Angels.