Darin Erstad: The Gritty Former Player
By David Rice (@calfladave22 on Twitter)
“Fly ball to centerfield. Erstad says he’s got it. Erstad makes the catch. The Anaheim Angels are champions of baseball.” These are the words that still give life-long Angel fans goosebumps to hear. So where is Darin Erstad now? He has been the manager of the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers baseball team since 2011.
Erstad played for the Angels from 1997 to 2006 playing left and centerfield and later first base. He finished his pro career playing two season with the Chicago White Sox and one with the Houston Astros before hanging up his spikes after the 2009 season.
Erstad was a member of two AL West championship teams in 2004 and 2005 and of course he was an integral part of the 2002 World Championship team.
Could Darin Erstad come back as the manager of the Angels and help the, recapture the glory that seems to have been lost the past nine years? Maybe. Angel fans would love to see Erstad back in Angel red rather than the Red of the Cornhuskers.
Erstad was actually a finalist for the Los Angeles Dodgers vacant managerial job after the 2016 season which eventually went to current manager Dave Roberts. Someone else other than the Angels took notice of the qualities that Erstad could potentially bring to the managerial table.
The big question would Erstad buy into Billy Eppler’s data-driven philosophy, or would he be more old school like his former manager Mike Scioscia was. If this is a possibility don’t be surprised if the Angels interview the three-time Gold Glove winner who also won a Silver Slugger Award in 2000 batting .355 and collecting 240 hits that season both of which were Angels’ single-season records.
Darin Erstad could be just the type of personality the Angels need to lead them back to greatness.