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Sweet Victory to the DESERVING

It was a fabulous and noisy night at the stadium. Ervin Santana entered the national baseball stage and deserves every accolade he can be accorded. I had never personally attended a game where the Angels stood to be eliminated (unless you count early September games in miserable seasons long gone).

Beyond the Santana storyline there stands a transformative moment in this game, one which should put all of baseball on notice that a long-accepted stereotype is not only wrong, it is demonstrably wrong.

The stereotype in question is the assumption that California baseball crowds are inadequate fans, do not measure up to East Coast boisterous, knowledgeable fans who are in the game and are loyal to fault. In the 2nd inning of tonight's game, that inaccurate stereotype was delivered to the myth branch of baseball lore. Adam Kennedy hit a warning track fly ball into the gap. It was playable and should have been caught, but outfielders Sheffield and Crosby were deafened by the roar of the Southern California stadium crowd.

They collided.

Two runs scored to take the lead. The Yankees lost in part due to the intense commitment and involvement of the Southern California fans.

While Angel fans were loud and wild during the 2002 playoffs, the media's fixation on the Rally Monkey cast a goofy pall on the Red October Nation. But tonight, our loud involvement affected the outcome of the game - to our team's advantage. WE helped send the Yankees home. Frame your 10/10/05 ticket stub - it is proof you contributed to one of the great on-field moments in franchise history.