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Angels Celebrate in Disneyland

October 29, 2002

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ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) _ Angels manager Mike Scioscia held the World Series trophy aloft before tens of thousands of fans lining Disneyland on Tuesday to cheer the championship team.

Jackie Autry, the widow of Gene Autry, who formed the expansion team in 1961 before selling it to The Walt Disney Co., rode in the parade with Mickey Mouse.

Many people lined up outside the theme park before dawn in hopes of getting good seats along what was being called the highway to heaven.

Cherie-Amor Rodriguez, 17, said she got her mother’s permission to skip school.

``I probably shouldn’t tell you that, but we wanted to make sure we were here,″ she said.

Disneyland was awash in Angels red, with shirts, hats and faces painted with Angels halos. Disney characters armed with ThunderStix and other paraphernalia took to the streets to rally the crowd.

``I’m here for these wonderful guys called the Angels,″ Linda Johnen said. She held ThunderStix on which she had written, ``They are the wind beneath my wings.″

The Angels had never won a playoff series before beating the New York Yankees this month in an American League division series. They followed by beating Minnesota to win the pennant and then defeated San Francisco in seven games in the World Series.

The Angels, long shots to win the World Series at the beginning of the season, beat the Giants on Sunday night to win the first championship in the team’s 42-year history.

The victors have been making the rounds. Five Angels joked on ``The Tonight Show″ with host Jay Leno, and first baseman Scott Spiezio read the Top 10 List on David Letterman’s ``The Late Show.″

On the list of the Top 10 remarks he reportedly overheard in the Anaheim locker room: ``I feel bad for Barry Bonds. Just kidding.″

The fanfare at Disneyland was to be followed by a parade from Arrowhead Pond to Edison Field, where the Angels were to arrive at a giant stage in the parking lot.

Disney has come under criticism for charging fans for two parades _ Disneyland and California Adventure. There was no charge for the parade at Arrowhead Pond or the fan appreciation party in an Edison Field parking lot.

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