Sandro gets kick watching ALCS

DAN TOTH -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 9:03 AM ET

Sandro DeAngelis has good reason to be pulling for the Los Angeles Angels in the American League Championship Series.

After all, football kickers form a tight union.

The Calgary Stampeders rookie placekicker and Angels first-baseman Darin Erstad are Nebraska Cornhuskers alumni, with Erstad toiling as a punter for the Huskers' 1994 national championship squad.

The following year Erstad was drafted first overall by the Angels, although an NFL career was also a possibility.

"To do the things he did -- be the top pick in the baseball draft and be the punter on a national championship team -- that's amazing," DeAngelis said after yesterday's Stampeders walkthrough for tonight's CFL clash with the visiting Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

"A lot of people said he could have punted in the NFL, too. That shows you the type of athletic ability he has.

"To be the first-overall pick in is no joke and it goes to show you what kind of athlete that guy is."

A first-baseman whose Angels are tied 1-1 with the Chicago White Sox for a berth in the World Series, the 31-year-old Erstad has maintained strong ties to his old school.

He even donated a portion of his $8.5-million US contract to his alma mater.

"He came and spoke to the team and donated a million dollars to the new stadium project they're doing," said DeAngelis, a Husker for five seasons (2000-04).

"There's quite a legacy with him in Nebraska.

"One of the trainers was very close to him and had his Angels jersey hanging up in his office, so Erstad was a guy who everybody, absolutely everybody, knew and loved."


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