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!
The main shortstop for the Angels in the 1980s, Dick Schofield played a lot of games for the club and accrued a lot of defensive numbers. Currently, Schofield sits tied with Gary DiSarcina at tenth on the franchise list in games played with 1086. He’s apt to sit in the Top 10 for a while longer with Kole Calhoun leaving in free agency (if the Red Baron does not return, the next Angel with a shot at passing Schofield is Andrelton Simmons, who has played in 531 games, if he re-ups).
Longevity was the name of the game for Schofield, as he played for the Angels from 1983-1992, although the last season was a mere single game before he went off to the Big Apple. He returned as a World Series in 1995-1996 as a utility infielder, finishing off his career where it began. Through the first stint of his Angels career, Schofield slashed .232/.305/.321/.627, good for an OPS+ of 75. Through this period, he was worth 15.8 bWAR, mostly from the defensive side, but also a large chunk was from a mediocre bat and the positional adjustment that WAR provides. When he returned for his second stint, Schofield was worth half a win total.
Irregardless (this is apparently a word now!) of his poor offensive numbers, Schofield capped off one of the most memorable Angels comebacks in 1986. Down 12-5 entering the 9th inning, Schofield led off the inning with an infield single and watched as the Angels batted around, allowing him to launch a walk-off grand slam to win the game 13-12. His heroic hit accounted for a cool 0.90 WPA in that game, undoubtedly one of the biggest swings in probability in franchise history.