Photo: Bob Martuch / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)
The Los Angeles/California/Anaheim Angels have played almost 60 seasons of baseball. As the baseball world is suspended due to circumstances outside its control, it is time to look back at the history of this organization. There have been many talented players to put on the uniform, and we at Crashing the Pearly Gates wish to highlight the best who have ever represented the Angels. Without further ado, here we go!
#76 – Lance Parrish
Parrish, AKA the “Big Wheel” played for the California Angels from 1989 to 1992. His nickname came from keeping his team going on a daily basis through the long summers when he played for Detroit. Coming to Anaheim was a bit of a homecoming for Parrish who attended high school in Diamond Bar, CA, less than 20 miles away from Angels Stadium. He was born in Pennsylvania, but his family moved to the LA area when was 6 years old.
Parrish was a catcher who occasionally DH’d during his stint in Anaheim. He had a 39% caught stealing rate during his Angels tenure and landed on the 1990 All Star Team while also earning a Sliver Slugger award. That season, Parrish hit 24 home runs to lead the Angels.
Over his Angels career, Parrish logged 400 games and 1,540 plate appearances. He hit 64 home runs and put up a modest .710 OPS. Those 64 home runs may not seem like much, but it’s good for 3rd all time among Angels catchers behind Mike Napoli and Bengie Molina.
Parrish was on his download decline when he landed on the Angels and it would be his last multi-year tenure with a big league club. His 1990 All Star nod was the last and 7th of his career – a career that also included 6 Silver Slugger Awards and 3 Gold Gloves.
Parrish was rumored to be Tina Turner’s former bodyguard, but he later cleared that up in an interview. Apparently he just followed her from her dressing room to the set of Hollywood Squares one day. Guess that sort of counts?