LA Angels: Darin Erstad always gave his total effort

Darin Erstad, LA Angels. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Dunn /Allsport
Darin Erstad, LA Angels. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Dunn /Allsport /

On October 1st 2000, the LA Angels’ Darin Erstad collected his 240th hit of the season.

He was also the first leadoff hitter to get 100 RBIs that year while batting .355, the highest average in a season in team history.

It ranks as the most hits an LA Angels player has ever had and also is the 12th-highest hit total in a season in MLB history.

Erstad also arguably had the greatest moment in LA Angels history when he yelled ‘I got it’ and caught Kenny Lofton’s fly ball that ended the 2002 World Series and made the Angels champions of Major League Baseball.

LA Angels’ Darin Erstad was the symbol of the club during the most successful run in the team’s history.

He was the LA Angels version of Charlie Hustle. Darin Erstad played with a chip on his shoulder and held his Angel teammates accountable.

Erstad was a hard-nosed hustler from a small town in North Dakota. He was the punter and placekicker on his high school football team. He played hockey and ran track, winning state titles in hurdling.

But where he excelled was of course in baseball, where he was the AP State Athlete of the Year in 1992.

Erstad went to the University of Nebraska in Lincoln and set school records in hitting. He has the school record in hits with 261.

Erstad played collegiate summer baseball for two seasons in the Cape Cod Baseball League and performed so well he was inducted to the CCBL Hall of Fame.

He was also the punter on his college football team and was part of their National Championship squad in 1994.

The Angels chose Erstad with the first overall pick in the draft of 1995.

On top of being an outstanding hitter, Erstad was a marvelous fielder.

Erstad won Gold Glove awards in 2000 and 2002 in the outfield. He also won one in 2004 when he moved to first base.

He is the only player in Major League Baseball history to have won Gold Gloves as an outfielder and as an infielder.

While Erstad was with the Angels he hit .286 and he was a clutch hitter in the postseason. He ranks near the top in all-time offensive and defensive categories.

After his playing career, Erstad was the head coach of the University of Nebraska baseball team for 8 years.

5 biggest questions of the offseason. Next

The LA Angels should bring Erstad back to the organization. With his fire and competitive attitude, he’d make a fine coach and eventual manager.