Thursday, March 20, 2008

By Eric Denton, Senior Writer

Angels fans thought Vladimir Guerrero’s nine RBI game against the Red Sox in 2004 was truly one for the ages, and rightfully so. But a very familiar face showed them in 2007 they hadn’t seen anything yet.

Garret Anderson, who had been slowed by injuries over the course of the last few seasons, produced the single greatest individual offensive game in the history of Angels baseball — against MLB’s premiere franchise, the New York Yankees — 4-for-6 with two doubles, two home runs (a 3-run shot and a grand slam), three runs scored and a franchise record 10 RBI.

In the first inning, Anderson rocked a two run double, scoring Orlando Cabrera and Chone Figgins. His next at bat, in the second inning, Anderson doubled again, scoring Guerrero and giving him three RBI in two plate appearances.

Then in the third inning, with Figgins and Jeff Mathis on first and second, Anderson drilled an Edwar Ramirez pitch over the right field wall for his first home run of the game and three more RBI, giving him six in three at-bats.

Batting in the fifth, he grounded out to second. But then in the sixth, with Howie Kendrick, Cabrera and Guerrero filling the bases, Anderson hit a towering shot into the right field pavilion for his eighth career Grand Slam, receiving an enthusiastic standing ovation from the 44,264 Anaheim faithful as he rounded the bases. And they would not return to their seats until Anderson climbed out of the dugout and tipped his cap.

"It took me 13 years to get that one,” Anderson said of the ovation and curtain call. “I don't see myself playing for 26 years. It's nice when the fans appreciate you. I think it's the first one I've had, and it was kind of a shock."

In the eighth, Anderson came to bat with two outs and Angels on first and third, but he grounded out to short and wound up one RBI shy of Tony Lazzeri’s AL record 11, set May 24, 1936. (The MLB record of 12 is held by two men: Jim Bottomley, Sept. 16, 1924, and Mark Whiten, Sept. 7, 1993.)

"It was an incredible night for Garret," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.

Heading into the 2008 season, Anderson is the all-time franchise leader in RBI with 1,208 — No. 125 all-time in MLB. He is 88 RBI shy of cracking the top-100.

With this being #10, we're officially in the Top-10 Countdown to #1 which will be announced next week, before opening day. Discuss this ranking and all of the other rankings from 50-10, which can be viewed off our homepage here on our message board here
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