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!
Photo: California Angels / Public domain
#36 – Kirk McCaskill
Before getting his big league nod, McCaskill had a stint in the NHL during the 1983-1984 season. It’s not often you see two-sport MLB players when the other sport is hockey, but McCaskill played hockey in college and was picked in the 4th round of the 1981 NHL draft by the Winnipeg Jets out of the University of Vermont. He had turned down a scholarship to play baseball at Arizona State so that he could play both sports at Vermont. One year later, the Angels also drafted him 4th, this time to play baseball. Of note, McCaskill was also a pretty solid soccer player, and in his varsity year, was the leading goal scorer at Edison High School in Huntington Beach.
Hockey now behind him, McCaskill’s big league debut came on May 1, 1985 in a 6.1 inning loss to the Blue Jays. He would go on to throw 6 complete games and 1 shutout that year, cementing himself in The Show for 12 years in total.
As an Angel, McCaskill played 7 seasons with a 3.86 ERA and 1,221 IP over 192 games. His 17.5 fWAR is good for 9th best among Angels pitchers and his 11 shutouts lands him 8th on the all time Angels list.
The Angels made the 1986 ALCS with McCaskill as a key rotation piece. They dropped the series in 7 games to the Red Sox, thanks in no part to McCaskill who had a rough time and lost both of his starts, allowing 8 runs and 14 hits over 9.1 combined innings.
After leaving the Angels, McCaskill averaged only around 100 IP per year for his 5 years with the White Sox.
Forever living on in the annals of baseball history, McCaskill was the pitcher who gave up back to back home runs to Ken Griffey Sr. and Ken Griffey Jr. on September 14th, 1990. The first and only time this feat has ever been achieved in MLB.
McCaskill was named on People Magazine’s 1991 list of Sexiest People Alive (clocking in at Number 30 – LINK).
I was at school with Kirk both at Edison and Gisler Jr High in Huntington Beach. He was athletic and really good at pretty much every sport he played, including basketball.
McCaskill was a pitcher that was either very high, or very (very) low. His 1991 season was one of the worst with a 10-19 record. He couldn’t find the plate if it smacked him in the head. At the end of the season, Buck Rodgers refused to let McCaskill pitch to prevent him from losing 20 games.
yay Kirk! One of my early Angels favorites. I’ve always liked the new younger guys, like McCaskill and Ron Romanick.
Ooh look! Over on the side I see a tweet that says Detmers has signed. Good! so then new guys like McCaskill, Romanick, Heaney, Detmers!
anyway, I certainly don’t blame McCaskill for 1986. 17-10, 3.36. He helped get us there. We had a solid rotation that season with Candy coming over. Thanks to 2002 we can look at 1986 as a pretty good season and not as a wound that shall ne’er heal.