10/23/2002 02:21 am ET
It was cold at Pacific Bell Park
By Alyson Footer / MLB.com
SAN FRANCISCO -- The orange "rally rags" given out to every fan at Pacific Bell Park on Tuesday were meant to serve one purpose: fire the crowd up enough to push the Giants toward a victory.
But by the fourth inning, the rags took on another role -- wiping the tears of 42,707 Giants fans who watched the Angels jump to an 8-1 lead.
By the time the Angels sealed a 10-4 victory over the Giants, the rally rags were probably best served wiping not only the tears, but also the runny noses of a packed house of freezing fans who braved chilly temperatures, high winds and a light drizzle that fell on Pacific Bell Park for a good portion of the evening.
The game-time temperature was announced at 57 degrees. Then the sun went down. And the wind picked up.
How cold was it? Angels catcher Bengie Molina, for one, wore a ski cap underneath his helmet.
"It was windy, kind of rainy," he said. "It was cold. We were just trying to stay warm the way we could. For me, I'm a cold person so I was trying to stay warm the whole game."
How? He wore four shirts underneath his jersey.
The only person who may have not been affected by the cold was the portly, shirtless man with the words "rally belly" painted on his rather sizable midriff. That image, needless to say, made it on the Astrovision, much to the delight of the crowd.
For David Eckstein, this chilly night was no different than any other. Although he plays 81 times a year in sunny Southern California, the Florida native admitted that anything less than hot and humid, and he's layered up.
"I'm always cold in Anaheim. This is no different," he said. "I just bundled up tonight. It wasn't bad. I wear sleeves every night, all the way through the year. Tonight I just had an extra sleeve and some tights."
Perhaps the Angels should always play in such frigid temperatures. By the time this night was over, the Angels banged out 16 hits, batted around in two straight innings and despite stranding a World Series record 15 men on base, they improved their team batting average to .353 after three World Series games.
Could it have been that Giants starter Livan Hernandez, who allowed five earned runs over 3 2/3 innings, was affected by the frigid temps?
"No, I don't think so," said San Francisco skipper Dusty Baker. "We're used to playing in cold weather. But Livan does love the hot weather, being from Cuba and Miami. I don't know if it was the cold weather or just (Anaheim's) hot bats."
So what's a player to do on such a cold night?
"As a DH in a National League park?" Brad Fullmer said. "I stayed in (the clubhouse). It was pretty warm in here. I'm in here anyway when I'm not hitting. I like to stay loose, ride the bike, watch the pitcher on TV."
But the rest of his teammates couldn't afford the luxury of running into a heated environment. At least Darin Erstad, a native of North Dakota, was accustomed to such conditions.
"Well, I had long sleeves on, too," he said. "I mean, I'm not that stupid."
After all, he pointed out, there's always that other extreme.
"When we play in Texas in the middle of the summer and it's 100, I'm out there and I need IVs after the game," he said. "It's a give and take thing."
Alyson Footer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to approval by Major League Baseball or its clubs.