Troy Percival saved 316 games for the Angels franchise. He did it with a nasty fastball that averaged 95-97 at its peak at the time one of the hardest in the game and a knee-buckler of a curve ball that would freeze the most feared hitters in baseball.
However, in his rookie year- 1995- Percival only saved 3 games. He functioned as Marcel Lachemann's 8th inning setup man for Lee Smith. The experience proved invaluable for Percy, as his future exploits on the mound would attest to. In his second season, Troy saved 36 games, and he would not save fewer than 27 in any future Anaheim season. Percival learned from a veteran closer, and took the lessons he learned to heart.
I have some terrific news, Halo hopefuls: the Angels may have just found another Troy Percival. His name is Jordan Walden, and he is the Angels' closer of the future.
Ryan VanderYacht is a Feature Columnist for LA Angels Insider.com