The Angels finished the regular season with a record of 99-63, 4 games behind the Oakland Athletics in the American League West standings, but qualified for the franchise's first ever Wild Card playoff berth to return to the postseason for the first time since 1986. Outfielder Garret Anderson led the team with 123 runs batted in and a .539 slugging percentage, was selected for the AL All-Star team, and won the Silver Slugger Award. Jarrod Washburn went 18-6 with a 3.15 earned run average to anchor a pitching staff that allowed the fewest runs in the league.
In the postseason, the Angels defeated the New York Yankees 3-1 in the American League Division Series, then defeated the Minnesota Twins 4-1 in the American League Championship Series to win the AL pennant. The Angels then won the World Series in dramatic fashion when, with a 3-2 series deficit to the San Francisco Giants, they overcame a 5 run deficit in the late innings of Game 6 to force a winner-take-all Game 7, which they won to clinch the series 4-3. The morning after the win, The Orange County Register celebrated the Angels' win with the headline "7th Heaven,"referring to the popular television series and fact that it took seven games for the Angels to win the World Series, and in doing so, it sent them to seventh heaven.
2002 was also notable as the season in which the Angels debuted their present-day uniforms, colors, and halo insignia, which replaced the widely ridiculed "periwinkle" uniforms and "winged" insignia they had worn since 1997. It was also the last full season the team was owned by The Walt Disney Company, which sold its controlling interest in the team to present-day owner Arte Moreno in May 2003.