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!
Sandy Alomar Sr., the father of better-known baseball player Sandy Alomar Jr., was a nothing-burger prior to being traded to the California Angels in early 1969. While he hadn’t received much playing time to develop, he also hadn’t encouraged others to take a deeper look, with a pitiful sub-.600 OPS as a member of the White Sox in ’68.
That all changed when the Angels parted ways with longtime friend Bobby Knoop, and Alomar became an Angel. Alomar broke out as a world-class defender at second base, playing the full 162 games two out of the five seasons he was an Angel and making the All-Star Game in 1970. While his hitting had much to be desired, even at the time, his defensive prowess more than made up for it. While there’s no way to quantify past defensive ability, the venerable Baseball-Reference pegs his 1971 season at a whopping 5.2 wins above replacement. In fact, of his career 63.2 Def (on FG), 48.1 of those came as an Angel, suggesting he earned the Angels nearly five wins from defense alone.
Not too shabby from someone with a career 69 wRC+ (not nice).