All five feet five inches of Albie Pearson personified the gritty type of player that makes fans of a team fans for life. It is almost impossible to root against men like Pearson, who appear simply innocent and elfin until they are beating your team with everything they have as your talent and ability are handed back to you in the loss column.
Having won the rookie of the year with the original AL Senators in 1958 he had a few lousy years and was left unprotected. Pearson was the fourth player taken by the Angels in the December, 1960 American League expansion draft. He stuck in the lineup.
Leading off for the Angels he was encouraged to draw walks and did he ever – He had three seasons of more than 90 walks and never struck out more than 40 times in a year. His excellent 1962 campaign saw him lead the AL with 115 Runs Scored (9th most in a single season by an Angels player after 58 seasons!) with 160 hits and 96 BB (11th best in a single season by an Angel) in 718 Plate Appearances.
He was an All Star in 1963 and got MVP votes after batting .304 with a .402 On Base Percentage, good for 4.9 WAR. He is one of thirteen Angels to have a season with an On Base Percentage over .400 and he did that twice. His .420 OBP in 1961 still ranks ninth best for single season.
Albie Pearson remains the most difficult Angel to ever strike out with a 14.7 AB per SO rate – number one in club history. His .379 OBP remains 5th all time in club history.
Pearson will always be one of the most beloved Angels and established a benchmark for giving it one’s all that endeared him to the fans. Slowed by injuries, he pinch hit in two games in July of 1966 for his only appearances in at what is now Angel Stadium, making him one of only a few players who called Wrigley Field, Chavez Ravine and Anaheim Stadium home; but he got his uniform dirty everywhere he went.
He was my Mom’s favorite baseball player, and thus he is the reason I ended up an Angel fan.
So what happened to his career? He had a really good year in ’65, then only 3 ABs in ’66. Then done.
a back injury apparently
Good write-up Rev. The lowest K per AB strikeout rate and the two seasons of .400+ OBP make him a worthy pick at 40.
yeah, good write-up. He started in the All Star game ahead of Mantle in 1963.