Top 100 Angels: #52 Rick Reichardt

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!

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In 1966 Rick Reichardt became the first player to hit a home run at Anaheim Stadium in what was his age 23 season.  Later that season, he was diagnosed with a kidney ailment that necessitated the removal of a kidney and the left fielder was never quite the same afterward.  He did well enough in his 89 games that season to tie for 21st in MVP balloting with a number of other guys, including Leon Wagner. 

His was yet another Angels story about “what might have been, if only.” His batting average and on base percentage crept incrementally downward each year. The Angels traded him to the Washington Senators in early 1970 together with Aurelio Rodriguez in exchange for Ken McMullen. In 1968, he did amass 4.7 of his career 13.9 WAR while being hit by 18 pitches; both of which were career highs.  After stints with both the White Sox and Royals he retired in 1974 after only one at bat (in which he got a hit).

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Born_in_59
Member
4 years ago

I remember going to a game on Bat Day and being bummed out that I got a Rick Reichart autographed bat while my older brother got Don Mincher. I don’t remember anything about the game, who the opponent was or what the final score was (I just assume the Angels lost), but I had that bat in my room up until I moved out after college. In 1968, Reichart was arguably a top 10 player during that “Year of the pitcher”; I wish he had been able to have the long, productive career that seemed to be ahead. In a sense it felt similar to Wally Joyner or Darin Erstad, guys that I thought would be stars on the team for a long time.

Guest
4 years ago

Reichardt was a star fullback for the #2 Wisconsin Badgers in 1962 and was the reason MLB created the amateur draft. There’s a great SI story about him here

RexFregosi
Super Member
4 years ago

Starting to attend games in Anaheim in the later half of the 1960s as a young kid, he was our Mike Trout or Wally Joyner. He was the most popular guy on those early teams that started playing in Anaheim.

But yeah it just never happened for him