Oct. 16, 2007
LOS ANGELES - Former UCLA standout Garrett Atkins, the starting third baseman of the Colorado Rockies, has become the 14th former Bruin to help lead his major league team to the World Series. Colorado defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks, 6-4, Monday evening to send the Rockies to their first World Series in the franchise's 15-year history.
Atkins, who starred for the Bruins from 1998-2000, looks to become just the 11th former UCLA ballplayer to help his team win the World Series. Colorado will face the winner of the American League Championship Series, between the Cleveland Indians and Boston Red Sox, beginning Wednesday, Oct. 24.
UCLA's baseball alumni have competed in the World Series on 27 occassions and have won a collective 15 titles. Most recently, Dave Roberts guided the Boston Red Sox to the 2004 World Series title, snapping Boston's 86-year span without a World Series championship.
Mike Gallego, a Bruin infielder from 1979-1981, returns to the World Series as a coach this October. Now serving as the Colorado Rockies' third base coach, Gallego was a part of three consecutive World Series teams with the Oakland Athletics from 1988-1990. Oakland won the World Series in 1989.
Jackie Robinson (Brooklyn Dodgers) and Bobby Brown (New York Yankees) were the first former Bruins to play in the World Series when their teams met in the 1947 Fall Classic - the Yankees defeated the Dodgers in seven games. Robinson made six trips to the Fall Classic, the most of any ex-UCLA ballplayer.
Brown finished his major-league career with four World Series titles, more than any former Bruin. Brown guided the New York Yankees to championships in 1947, 1949, 1950 and 1951.
Only two other former UCLA ballplayers - Chris Chambliss and Jeff Conine - have been a part of multiple World Series championship teams. Chambliss led the Yankees to the 1977 and 1978 World Series titles after having appeared in the 1976 World Series. Conine helped carry the Florida Marlins to World Series titles in the franchise's only two appearances (1997, 2003).
Troy Glaus, a standout UCLA infielder from 1995-97, has been the only former Bruin to capture World Series MVP honors. Glaus led the Anaheim Angels to the 2002 World Series title, defeating the San Francisco Giants in seven games.