Gene Autry, the silver screen cowboy legend and the gentleman responsible for bringing the Angels franchise to life, adored his team.
In the 1950s, Autry was a minority owner of a minor league baseball team called the Hollywood Stars. In 1960, when Major League Baseball expressed its desire to add an expansion team to the Los Angeles area, Gene sought to acquire radio broadcast rights to the team’s games.
Baseball executives were so impressed by this that they encouraged Autry to become the owner of the franchise rather than a broadcast partner.
Thus, the Los Angeles Angels were born in 1961. Autry's favorite number, 26, was retired in his honor by the team in 1992.
As with all major league teams, many players and managers have come and gone throughout the years. The Angels organization has endured good times and bad times, but it is the last 10 years that have put the Angels franchise on the map, therefore making the baseball world take notice.
2000-2010 was a defining decade for the Angels organization. The franchise not only underwent yet another name change, but changes in leadership as well—leadership that ultimately made them World Series champions, not to mention one of the strongest teams in the American League.