Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: The All-Time Angels Team
In the midst of this baseball season, it occurred to me that I've never seen an article of an all-time Angels team anywhere on line.
Being that's the case, I thought I'd remedy that by listing my choices for an all-time Angels team.
I hope all you Angel fans out there like my choices for this 25-man roster, beginning with the starters.
First Base: Rod Carew
It was a tough decision between this seven-time batting champ and Wally Joyner, who followed Carew in 1986 and became a fan favorite as well as a decent slugger.
However, I went with Carew who had seven good seasons with the Halos after a phenomenal tenure with the Minnesota Twins, for this overwhelming reason: Carew is in the Hall of Fame. Joyner is not.
Second Base: Bobby Grich
After coming over from Baltimore in the mid-1970s, this man solidified the second base position for nearly a decade and was one of the biggest factors in the Angels achieving respectability in the late '70s and 1980s.
Shortstop: Jim Fregosi
If I had to pick a guy as the ultimate Angel, Fregosi would be it as he was the Halos shortstop for the first 11 years of their existence, all the way through 1971.
The fact that he managed the team to their first divisional title in 1979, solidifies his ultimate Angel status.
Third Base: Doug DeCinces
It was not an easy choice between this guy, who like Grich came over from Baltimore to solidify the Angel infield, and Troy Glaus, whose slugging led the Angels to their World Series title in 2002.
But I'm going to go with DeCinces because he was more durable and hit for a higher average.
Left Field: Garret Anderson
Without a doubt, Anderson was the classiest Angel ever, playing the game with the utmost professionalism and dependability that you really don't see in pro athletes anymore.
The fact that he's the all-time Angels leader in hits, runs and RBI doesn't hurt, either.
Center Field: Jim Edmonds
After recalling his spectacular catches and numerous home runs as a young player in the 1990s, I had to put this man here. The team made a big mistake when they traded him to St. Louis.
Right Field: Tim Salmon
"The Kingfish." Being that he's the Halos' home run king with 299 and was one of the big reasons behind their first World Championship in '02, this is a no-brainer here.
Designated Hitter: Don Baylor
Being that this is an American League team, it's obligatory that I have an all-time DH on this team.
And like Salmon in right, Don Baylor is likewise a no-brainer, winning the AL MVP in 1979 as he led the team to their first postseason berth.
Yes, I know he was the left fielder that year, but this man simply could not be left off the team.
Catcher: Bob Boone
Was a crucial factor in the Angels' 1982 and 1986 division titles—coming over from Philadelphia, he was just what the team, and their young staff, needed.
In an article I wrote online a few years ago detailing my choices for the best players of all time according to team, I chose this all-time strikeout king as the greatest Angel ever for one reason:
His four no-hitters and 382 strikeouts in 1973, breaking Sandy Koufax's single season record, put this franchise on the map. Simple as that.
This hard throwing left-hander made a great combination with Ryan in the '70s, as he was on the mound when the Angels clinched their first division crown over the Kansas City Royals in September of '79.
I remember that moment well, as it made me an Angel fan for a while when I was in junior high.
Was the leader of the staff in the '80s, pitching an unforgettable perfect game against the Texas Rangers on the last day of the 1984 season and generally being the ace of the Halos staff, along with...
Finley made a tremendous lefty-righty combination with Witt during the late '80s and stayed around through the late '90s, becoming the staff ace by that time.
Yes, he did have some issues with his wife, video kitten Tawny Kitaen, but that didn't change the fact that he was a great pitcher.
This guy was the franchise's first pitching ace in the 1960s, throwing 11 shutouts with a 1.65 earned run average in 1964 and winning the team's first Cy Young Award that year.
Relief Pitchers (though some of them were, in fact, starters):
The all-time Angels saves leader with 316. Was on the mound for the last out of their epic 2002 championship. Enough said.
Broke the all-time single season saves record with 62 in 2008. Again, enough said.
Until Dave Henderson's home run off of him in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series in '86, Moore was a rock in the Angels bullpen.
What happened to him was quite tragic, when he took his own life in 1989.
Yes, I know he was a starter, but I just couldn't leave this guy out.
This four-time All-Star threw a combined no-hitter with Mike Witt in 1990 and was a mainstay in the Halos staff during that time, putting him on this list.
It was unthinkable to imagine the Angels in the '90s and early 2000s without this man at shortstop.
"Wally World" was a big thing in the mid-'80s due to this guy, his standout rookie season in '86 being the factor. He was the anchor at first base through the early to mid-'90s.
This third baseman came out of UCLA to slug the Angels to their '02 title, winning the World Series MVP in the process.
This outfielder won the American League batting championship in 1970, the first, and still the only, Angel to accomplish that feat.
I definitely can't leave this hustling gamer off this team, especially after he hit .355 in 2000, an all-time single-season mark for the Angels. And he caught the last out in that '02 series.
This Angel great, who I have as a backup catcher as well as an outfielder, was the all-time leader in pretty much every hitting category by the time he left the team in 1990.
And his .325 average in '79 wasn't too shabby, either.
Manager: Mike Scioscia
Like several other players on this list, this is a no-brainer as he's the all-time Angel leader in wins, and led them to their '02 crown.
One can only imagine what might have been if the Dodgers, with whom he was a standout catcher for, kept him around their organization instead of letting him go.
There you have it: the (unofficial) all-time Los Angeles/California/Anaheim/Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim team.
I know I left out some people, notably Vladimir Guerrero, but I suppose you can't include everyone.
In the meantime, I hope all you fans out there who break out the Rally Monkey and wear red to support this icon of Orange County enjoy the memories that I've hopefully invoked with this group of men.
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