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Let the California Adventure begin
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World  Series
10/19/2002 4:35 pm ET 
Let the California Adventure begin
By John Schlegel /

Robb Nen is one of only five players with previous World Series experience. (Justin Sullivan/
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Let the California Adventure begin. It's bound to be an experience for everyone involved.

The 2002 World Series between the San Francisco Giants and the Anaheim Angels -- the fourth all-California Fall Classic -- matches two Wild Card teams for the first time in the history of baseball's big event, and the 98th edition of the Series features two teams with scarce experience at this level.

Once the Angels' Jarrod Washburn lets loose of the first pitch of Game 1 at 8:04 p.m. ET Saturday, any past experience or lack thereof will be put to the test as the National League's Giants and the American League's Angels square off in a best-of-seven series.

Edison Field will be the backdrop for the opening of this California Adventure, only a couple of miles from the Disneyland theme park of the same name. And there's no doubt the red-clad Angels faithful will be out in full force, thwacking their ThunderStix and bowing to the Rally Monkey.

This marks the first trip to the World Series for the Angels in the 42-year history of the franchise. For the Giants, it's the first trip in 13 years and only the second appearance since the franchise moved to San Francisco in 1958.

Back to Game 1 features two starters making their World Series debuts in Washburn and the Giants' Jason Schmidt. It's the first time both starters in a game have made their Series debuts since Game 2 of 1998, when San Diego's Andy Ashby opposed the New York Yankees' Orlando Hernandez.

Washburn, a left-hander in his fourth season in the Majors, emerged as the Angels' ace this season, going 18-6 with a 3.15 ERA in the regular season before posting a 1-0 mark and a 2.84 ERA in three postseason outings. Schmidt, a right-hander traded to San Francisco from Pittsburgh in 2001 and then wrapped up to a long-term deal prior to his seventh season in the Majors, went 13-8 with a 3.45 ERA in the 2002 regular season and has gone 1-1 with a 3.46 ERA in the postseason.

Already, the Giants have answered one burning question that was asked time and time again during the long layoff since they claimed the National League pennant on Monday: Who will be their DH for Game 1? Answer: They'll have outfielder Tsuyoshi Shinjo in the designated hitter spot, batting ninth.

Shinjo will become the first Japanese player ever to participate in a World Series, but he's certainly not the only one going in with no previous experience at this level.

While superstar slugger Barry Bonds will be making his much-publicized World Series debut, the Giants' have only a handful of players who have played in the Fall Classic with other teams: outfielders Reggie Sanders and Kenny Lofton, closer Robb Nen, starter Livan Hernandez and reliever Jay Witasick.

The Angels, meanwhile, do not have a single player with World Series experience.

Welcome to the California Adventure.

John Schlegel is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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