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!
#61 – Bob Lee
The list of MLB players born in Iowa would at first seem to be fairly not impressive but it does include Cap Anson (1852), Bob Feller (1918), and several other HOFers who played in the early 20th Century. Enter Bob Lee, born in Ottumwa, Iowa in 1937. Like many others, Lee and his family found their way to California where he graduated from Bellflower High School.
Lee stood at 6’3″ and 225 pounds, earning him the nicknames Big Bob, Moose, and Horse. Drafted by the Pirates out of high school in 1956, Lee wouldn’t make his Big League debut until 1964 with the Angels. Lee would never pitch a big league game for the team that drafted him, but the Angels lucked out when the snagged him in 1963.
Most of you have probably never heard of Bob Lee, but he packed a big punch for the Angels over 3 seasons – mostly as a reliever and occasional spot starter. Lee ended his Angels career with a 1.99 ERA over 194 games and 370 inning pitched. He also had an impressive 1.089 WHIP and 58 saves. His 1965 campaign earned him an All Star nod with a 1.92 ERA in 131.1 inning pitched.
Lee had an impressive, yet short tenure with the Angels:
- He threw 21 scoreless innings between 1964 and 1965.
- LOB of 81.1% (2nd among pitchers from 1964 to 1964)
- 6th most appearances of ALL pitchers from 1964 to 1966
- 58 saves (3rd among pitchers from 1964-1966)
- His 1.99 ERA was 3rd behind Hoyt Wilhelm and Sandy Koufax
Sadly, Lee’s career wound down rapidly when he left the Angels after the 1966 season. He pitched for the Dodgers and Reds in 1967 and 1968 but by age 30, he was done with baseball. In 2011, he returned to Anaheim to throw out the first pitch on April 10th. Lee passed away this year on March 25th in Lake Havasu, Arizona.