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!
First, one of the greatest ever interviews of an Angels player by a blog was this Jack Howell interview by the “Three Days of Cryin” blog in 2009, so glad it is still online, somebody copy and save it. There is TONS of Angels lore in that link to savor.
Jack Howell had a star-crossed stay with the California Angels, went to Japan, and returned to play with the team again. His two stints here delivered 8.6 WAR, and Top 25 Slugging % in franchise history, along with a Top 30 OPS all time Angels. His two stints here added up to the 24th most games played as an Angel ever. 26 Angels had more than a thousand total bases wearing a halo, Howell is one of them. He is one of 19 Angels with 100 homeruns ranks 25th all time with 119 doubles.
When it comes to the 73 Angels players with more than 1,500 Plate Appearances, look at who Jack is tied with on his OPS+ of 105:
The problem facing Jack Howell was his monster seasons in the minor leagues leading to his much-hyped heir-apparent status taking over at the hot corner for Doug DeCinces. He was a part-timer late in ’86 (that linked interview has crucial descriptions of what it was like in that postseason that went awry) and then was handed the job with high expectations. He put up good numbers, but the problem was they weren’t great like DeCinces nor like his monster minor league numbers AND the 1987 Angels were all just punished for the sins of the 1986 Angels, so here is Jack Howell in his first full season not batting .373 like he did in the minor leagues and, uh, well, he just never caught on despite being a grinder and, really, one of the guys of that era of Angels baseball.