Two Sport Champion

“We’ve gone through tough times and good times and we always take the same attitude to just keep working and playing our games.”
Darin Erstad

Darin Erstad is the only man to play on an NCAA Football Championship team (Nebraska 1994) and a World Series winner (Angles 2002). Erstad was a punter at Nebraska averaging 42 yards per kick. The California Angles drafted Darin Erstad with the first overall pick in Baseball’s Amateur Draft. Erstad played in the Major Leagues for 14 years with the Angels, White Sox, and Astros. Darin Erstad was a two-time All-Star who won three Gold Gloves for fielding excellence.

Darin Erstad was a great competitor who was at his best when it mattered the most – in the 2002 World Series. Last month, I had the privilege of giving a speech in Erstad’s home state, North Dakota, to the AGC of North Dakota. I found out that Darin Erstad is a class guy. I spoke with many people who knew him, and they all had wonderful things to say about him, as did Angels broadcaster Terry Smith. Darin Erstad deserves a great deal of credit for winning a Gold glove as both a first baseman and an outfielder First man ever to do that. Erstad’s best year was in 2000 when he won a Silver Slugger award and led the American League in hits with 240. Darin Erstad was an intense player and it showed during the 2002 Post-Season. Erstad batted .421 in the Division Series against the Yankees; Erstad hit .364 in the League Championship Series against the Rangers; and in the World Series against the Giants, he batted .300. Of most significance, Darin Erstad also hit a big home run late in Game 6 with the Angles trailing and facing elimination. These days, Darin Erstad is the head baseball coach at the University of Nebraska. Darin Erstad is a Baseball Champion, a Football Champion and a champion off the field too.

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