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!
#55 – Fred Lynn
From 1971-1973, Fred Lynn was a member of the College World Series winning USC Trojans (where he was recruited to play football). He was selected by the Red Sox in the 2nd round of the 1973 draft and in January 1981, was traded along with Steve Renko to the Angels for Frank Tanana, Jim Dorsey, and Joe Rudi. To some, included Lynn perhaps, it was an off move. Lynn himself had told the Red Sox he didn’t wanted to be traded.
“They thought I was going to play out my option and be a free agent. I said that’s not what I want to do – I want to stay here. Why would I want to leave a park where I hit .350. It just doesn’t make any sense. Once it got into ownership’s mind, no matter what I said it wasn’t going to work out. They thought they would get something for me so they made the trade.” (source)
And in fact, Lynn never hit over .300 again in his career after batting .308 over 7 seasons with the Red Sox.
Lynn was a 3-time All Star in his 4 seasons for the Angels, including the 1981 strike-shortened season. That year Lynn was having a solid year until the break and only hit .131 with a .432 OPS the last 32 games of the season. However, despite leaving the favorable hitting ballpark of Fenway, Lynn still had an .822 OPS over his 4 year Angels tenure. He knocked 71 home runs with a .358 OBP while patrolling center field.
A free agent after the 1984 season, Lynn landed with the Baltimore Orioles. He never received another All Star nod for the remainder of his career. Early in his career Lynn seemed to be on a HOF career path but injuries and and the like ultimately derailed that course.