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10/01/09 11:00 PM EST
Fans gear up for ALDS after home finale
Angel Stadium hosts rally prior to Halos' final road trip
By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com
ANAHEIM -- Several former and current Angels helped celebrate the club's fifth American League West title in six seasons at a postseason rally in front of an estimated 40,000 fans on Thursday at Angel Stadium immediately after the club's 11-3 loss to the Rangers in its final home game of the regular season. Broadcasters Steve Physioc and Rex Hudler hosted the event and invited players and manager Mike Scioscia up to the stage at second base to thank the fans. "These are the best fans in the world, and I've seen a lot around the country," Scioscia said over the loudspeaker. "We couldn't have this atmosphere without the fans." Many of the 38,552 that attended Thursday's game stuck around for the free postgame rally, while others were let in after the eighth inning. Fans chanted for players when they went on the stage, such as when Torii Hunter and Chone Figgins went up to together to say a few words. "It's like basketball. You guys are like the sixth man," said Figgins. "We couldn't do it without you." Hunter elicited the loudest cheers when he announced that the Angels are "the team to beat" and that the team is going to the playoffs "in Nick Adenhart's honor." A few former Angels such as Bobby Grich and Clyde Wright also took the platform, and they didn't hold back. "I'm sick and tired hearing about Boston and the Yankees," said Wright, who owns the franchise record for most wins in a season by a left-hander with 22. "I think it's about time to shut them all up." The event also featured highlights of the 2009 season on the video board, the U.S. Army Parachute Team, "Golden Knights," and a fireworks show set to music to end the night.
Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.