Image courtesy of pinterest.com
After having done this on another sports site a few years ago, I thought it high time to list my choices for the Angels’ all-time team on this site.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The only rules I have in choosing any all-time team is they cannot be current players, and they need to have done the bulk of their exploits in an Angel uniform.
That is why despite his current standing as baseball’s greatest player, Mike Trout is not listed here; the day he retires, he will be on this team.
Until then, here’s my all-time 25 man Los Angeles Angels roster – starters and reserves included…
CATCHER: Bob Boone – Someone who was crucial to the Angels’ needs in the early 80s, helping them to two division titles.
FIRST BASE: Wally Joyner – It was a CLOSE and TOUGH call between this man and Hall-of-Famer Rod Carew, but what it came down to was this:
Carew won seven batting titles, but none with the Angels as his Cooperstown plaque has him wearing a Minnesota Twins cap. Joyner was born and bred an Angel and fans will always remember the “Wally World” mania.
SECOND BASE: Bobby Grich – Solidified that position after coming from Baltimore in the 1970s and was a key factor in the Halos achieving respectability during that time.
SHORTSTOP: Jim Fregosi – This guy is my pick as the Ultimate Angel as he was their shortstop for the first 11 years of their existence. Plus he managed them to their first division title in 1979.
THIRD BASE: Troy Glaus – When you think of the championship season of 2002, you think of this slugger as he led that team, winning World Series MVP in the process.
OUTFIELD: Garrett Anderson – The classiest Angel of all time, and is their all-time leader in hits, runs and RBI.
OUTFIELD: Vladimir Guerrero – An absolutely dominant player during his six years in Anaheim, finishing in the top ten for MVP four of those years and being the second Angel to win it in 2004; he’s a sure thing for the Hall of Fame.
OUTFIELD: Tim Salmon – “The Kingfish”. Being that he’s the Angels’ all time home run leader with 299 and one of the big reasons why they won the World Series in ’02, this is a no brainer.
DESIGNATED HITTER: Don Baylor – Since this is an American League team, I’m obliged to have a DH on it; the first Angel to win the MVP award in 1979, this is a no brainer, too.
Don Baylor, the first Angel to win the American League Most Valuable Player Award and was one of the key factors to them making the postseason for the first time. Photo courtesy of pinterest.com
Nolan Ryan – In an article I wrote on HubPages.com listing the greatest ball players ever by team, this all time strikeout leader and owner of seven no-hitters was my choice for the greatest Angel of all time as his four no-nos and 382 strikeouts in 1973 while in a Halos uniform put that franchise on the map.
Frank Tanana – This left-handed pitcher made a great combination with Ryan; he was on the mound when the Angels clinched their first division title in ’79 and helped to make me a fan of that team for a while.
Mike Witt – One of the Angels’ leaders in the 1980s, pitching an epic perfect game on the last day of the 1984 season and generally sharing the status of the Angel ace, along with…
Chuck Finley – The all-time franchise leader with 165 wins and 2,675 innings pitched.
Dean Chance – The Angels’ first pitching ace, throwing 11 shutouts with a 1.64 earned run average in 1964 and earning the team’s first Cy Young Award for those efforts.
Nolan Ryan, a pitcher who belongs on any all-time staff with his 5,714 strikeouts (#1 all-time) and seven no hitters – four while wearing this uniform (again, #1 all-time). Photo courtesy of ebay.com
RELIEF PITCHERS (though some were starters):
Troy Percival (closer) – The all-time saves leader in franchise history with 316. Got the last out in the ’02 World Series. Enough said.
Mark Langston – Was a mainstay on the pitching staff in the 1990s and thew a combined no-hitter with Witt in 1990.
Jim Abbott – Though he was a starter, I just couldn’t leave this hurler who excelled despite having only one hand out.
Donnie Moore – Until that crushing home run that he gave up to Dave Henderson in the 1986 ALCS with the Angels one strike away from their first pennant, he was the rock of that relief core.
And a true tragedy, taking his own life in 1989.
Bo Belinsky – Yes, his career record was only 28-51 with an ERA over four, and he was a hard partier who dated and married starlets and Playboy playmates, but he did throw the Angels’ first no-hitter in 1964.
THE SINGLE GREATEST MOMENT IN ANGELS HISTORY: Troy Percival throwing the last pitch and Darin Erstad catching the last out of the 2002 World Series, making the Halos’ 1st World Championship official. Courtesy of YouTube.
Bengie Molina, C – Was the catcher on that ’02 title team and was a solid rock behind the plate and with the bat for roughly a decade.
Rod Carew, 1B – Signing this seven time batting champ was the final key to the Angels’ first glory years in the late 70s and early 80s; Halo fans will forever this Hall-of-Famer getting his 3,000th hit in 1985.
And I’m SO glad that he got his heart transplant.
Gary DiSarcina, SS – How can I possibly not include this shortstop from the 90s and 2000s; he was a mainstay at that position then.
Brian Downing, OF/DH/C – The all-time leader in more or less everything when he left the team in 1990. And batted .325 during that first title year in ’79.
Alex Johnson, OF – The Angels’ only batting champion, winning that honor in 1970.
Darin Erstad, OF – I can’t leave this hard-nosed hustler off this team as he batted .355 in 2000 and caught the last out in Game 7 of that ’02 Series, setting off a long-awaited celebration in Orange County.
MANAGER: Mike Scioscia – The all-time franchise leader in longevity – he’s just started his 18th season at the helm – and wins by a LONG way.
If only the Dodgers, for whom he was such a brilliant catcher for ten years, weren’t so shortsighted…
TOMORROW: The all-time Los Angeles Dodgers team will be listed on this site, so be sure to watch for that!
This #27 – Mike Trout for those who’ve been living under a rock on Mars the past few years – would be at the top of this all-time team if it weren’t for the fact that he’s an active player, and will be for at least the next ten years. But as soon as this man retires…Photo courtesy of gettyimages.co.uk