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!
A member of the Angels Hall of Fame, Don Baylor can be summed up most by his production on the field as a member of the Halos. He also came back in 1986 as a Red Sox player and hit one of the most heartbreaking home runs in Angels history.
Baylor signed with the Angels in 1977 and played six strong seasons, culminating in the MVP award in 1979, when the Angels won the division for the first time. That season, Baylor managed to lead the Majors in both runs and runs batted in, a feat that demonstrates the abilities of both yourself and your teammates. Over those six years, Baylor had 3536 plate appearances, slashing .262/.337/.448/.785, good enough for an OPS+ of 118. He loved to crowd the plate, as evidenced by his career mark of 267 HBPs. He led the Majors seven times in that category.
Baylor didn’t hit well in the 1979 postseason, as the Angels lost to Baltimore. He returned to Anaheim in 1986, with the Angels up 3-1 in the ALCS and one out away from the World Series, and hit a home run to pull Boston within one. They would later win the game, the series, and go on to Bill Buckner-land.
In 2014, Baylor became the Angels pitching coach, a position he occupied for two seasons. Under Baylor, the Angels launched a prolific offense in 2014, leading them to 98 wins, and Mike Trout won his first AL MVP award. Baylor was inducted to the Angels Hall of Fame in 1990. He passed away in 2017.