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!
#41 – Bobby Knoop
In 2019, Bobby Knoop ended a 53 year career in baseball at age 80. During that span, Knoop played for the Angels from 1964-1969 and served as a minor league, major league coach, scout and advisor for the Angels organization from 1979 to 1996. Knoop had mostly recently been an infield instructor for the Angels since 2013.
Part of the potent double play tandem with Jim Fregosi in the 1960s, Knoop was a key player in the Angels first decade. Knoop was an acrobatic fielder with excellent range that showed in his 3 Gold Gloves and 1 All-Star trip over his career with the Halos.
Knoop signed with the Milwaukee Braves in 1956 and the Angels later obtained him through the 1963 Rule 5 draft. Of course, due to Rule 5 Draft rules, Knoop would need to remain on the Angels Major League roster in 1964, and that he did – playing all 162 games.
Some would say Knoop is the best defensive second baseman in Angels franchise history and through the better part of the 60’s, Knoop + Fergosi were the best double play combination in the league.
Offense was certainly not his best asset, and Knoop slashed 240/.298/.344 with an 88 wRC+ over 803 games and 2,886 plate appearances. Knoop is 2nd all time among Angels second baseman in terms of total putouts and double plays, despite being 4th in total innings played.
On May 14th, 1969, the Knoop/Fergosi era was over when the Angels traded Knoop to the White Sox for Sandy Alomar. Knoop would spend some time with the White Sox and Royals before being released by the Royals after 1972 season – ending his short but significant major league career.
One of my biggest regrets as an Angel fan is that I was born too late to have seen Knoop and Fregosi play defense together.
At least we got to see Howie and Aybar, as well as Simba/Fletch.
And I can add Grich/Foli and Grich/Burleson to your list. Eckstein/Kennedy were also a lot of fun to watch.
I think you mean Simba-Espinosa. My heart yearns for those amazing days…
Or better yet, Simba-Featherston
Ugh, let’s just lock down second for once!
I was having a nice evening, until I read this comment.
What about Tommy Field?
I don’t remember making double plays with Simba
We know. You’d have dropped the ball.
Excellent player. Interesting that the perception of the infield positions has changed so radically since that time. Players like Knoop and Mark Belanger would have a tough time making it to the bigs now. About the only position still allowed to be offense-light is catcher, explaining quite a few players these days.
Knoop’s slashline has to be viewed in the context of the era. In the ’60s, 2B was viewed as a glove-first position. If there was a bat behind it, great, but it was primarily a defensive position.
I had the pleasure of meeting him during ST a few years back. A true gentleman.