Top 100 Angels: #65 Mickey Rivers

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!——————————————————————————————————

#65 – Mickey Rivers

Drafted 4 times by 4 different teams before being traded to the Angels before his MLB debut, Mickey Rivers was for sure a wanted player. From 1970-1975, he patrolled the OF for the California Angels. The first 4 seasons was as a backup averaging just 161 PA per season with 1974 and 1975 as the speedy starting CF.

And he was speedy alright. His 70 sb in 1975 is still the Angels record with an even 100 over his two starting seasons. The lefty ended up with 126 SB in under 500 games. That is a 45 per 162 game average! No Angel before or since stole at such a rate. Speed was his game, as evidenced by his league leading 11 and 13 triples in 1974 and 1975. Both still ranking high on the Angels franchise leaderboard. It would take a lucky Figgins in 2004 to break his shared record of 13 triples in a season.

Not that speed was his only good tool. A .330 OBP is 39th all time for the Angels. Ahead of players like GA. This was in spite of how little he walked. It was accomplished almost purely by being a scrappy hitter. Despite almost no power at all (5 home runs total in those 6 seasons) his OPS+ was 117 and 103 in his two starting seasons. That is purely a hitting stat. An above average CF in hitting while setting himself up for stolen bases. If he hadn’t already gotten to 3rd base on a triple.

That big 1975 season is most likely why he was traded to the Yankees before 1976. That trade was for Bobby Bonds so it wasn’t like the Angels got screwed over. Unfortunately it also meant that almost every video that could be found of Mickey Rivers is that in pinstripes. Getting to an all star game and multiple world series as a Yankee would do that. He does have a website and social media. So maybe check that out.

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Super Member
3 years ago

Mick The Quick was great – one of my favorites from that era.

The clearest memory was me as a punk pre-teen bugging/pleading obnoxiously for him for an autograph outside the clubhouse in PS. I guess it was pretty bad because my dad saw it and laughed, saying, if he were Mick, he woulda punched me in the mouth.

It was a sad day when he was traded but we couldn’t complain about Bonds, and was glad he went on to success with NYY.

The lineup with Ryan and others pitching was him and Morris Nettles in the 1-2 spot, but as the saying goes, you can’t steal 1B, so the offense sucked. Tanana and Ryan and two days of cryin’

Trusted Member
3 years ago

He was the #1 Angel I was most bummed to see leave. Bonds was a close second. Ryan would be #3 – Grienke #4.

3 years ago

He was fun to watch and imitate his unique batting style with the twirl of the bat, et al.

Trusted Member
3 years ago
Reply to  johnlweitzel

Yep – and his walk to the plate too.