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!
Doug DeCinces, a product of Burbank California, came to the Angels from the Orioles in 1982 via trade for Dan Ford. Hall of Fame bookends had surrounded him with the Orioles in that he took over third base from Brooks Robinson in 1973 and was eventually traded to make room for Cal Ripken Jr.
His first season with the Angels was his best, as he slashed .301/.369/.548/.916 en route to a third-place AL MVP finish that year, putting up 7.6 bWAR in the campaign. Although he was named an All Star the next year, DeCinces never really recaptured that 1982 magic, and he was more an above-average player rather than a superstar.
Memorably, he hit three home runs in the same game August 3, 1982 during a 5-4 Angels loss to the Minnesota Twins. Five days later, on August 8, 1982 he repeated that feat in a 9-5 victory over the Seattle Mariners. He won the Silver Slugger award that year and made the American League All Star team in 1983. The Angels released him on September 23, 1987 and he finished out the season playing four games for the St. Louis Cardinals. He went to Japan in 1988 and played for the Yakult Swallows. Because of this experience he was hired as a consultant for the movie “Mr. Baseball.”
On August 4, 2011 he was charged with insider trading by the SEC for things he did when Abbot Laboratories Inc. was about to acquire Advanced Medical Optics Inc. He agreed to pay $2.5 million to settle the SEC’s charges but criminal charges were filed against him in 2012 for conduct related to the same transaction. He was found guilty of 13 of those charges on May 12, 2017 and was sentenced August 12, 2019 to eight months of home detention plus a $10,000 fine. The poor guy probably finished his home detention just in time for the statewide stay at home order.
Grich, DeCines, Baylor, thank you Orioles as the first half of the 80’s were fun. Now if we could have your RF.
those years in the 80s were golden for me as an Angels fan. DeCinces, Grich, Boonie, Downing! Loved ’em all.
From SABR’s bio on DeCinces:
Long overshadowed by Robinson’s fielding, DeCinces’s glove had gained scant attention in his early Oriole years. But even Brooks took notice of the play he made to help clinch the pennant in the 1979 American League Championship Series. “I jumped right out of my seat when Doug made that stop,” Robinson said.
Baltimore led the Western Division champion California Angels two games to one in the best-of-five ALCS. In Game Four the Orioles led 3-0 in the bottom of the fifth inning when the Angels threatened with the bases loaded and no outs. An easy fly out to left field set the stage for DeCinces’s career defensive gem.
Angels’ shortstop Jim Anderson ripped a shot down the third-base line aiming to clear the bases and tie the game. DeCinces lunged toward the line to short hop the drive. He hooked third base with his leg for a force out before springing to his feet to gun Anderson out for an inning-ending double play. “It was the best play I’ve ever made,” claimed DeCinces. “After I got up I had a handful of dirt along with the ball. When I threw to first base I didn’t know where the ball was going.
The play ended the Angels’ only serious rally. Their manager, Jim Fregosi, said, “If DeCinces hadn’t made the play the game would have turned out differently. If that ball had gone through the score would have been at least 3-2, and I think we would have broken the game open.”
What happened to the history series?
When the Corona virus crisis shut down the baseball world, CtPG was hurting for content, so I thought I would offer up my history series to help fill the void. When baseball started gearing back up, I shifted my attention to finishing up my latest book. It’s called Out of the Hands of Robbers, and it’s available now on Amazon. It is a historical fiction about a trio of men in 1688 who attempt to assassinate the institution of slavery before it has a chance to establish its poisonous roots in the land that would become America.