I’m too GA to write this Article on GA.
Just kidding. Where does this notion come from then? Well, Garret Anderson has resting “IDNGAF” face and his calm effort play has many joke that he is lazy. He isn’t, but the perception is there. It is rare to see him smile which also doesn’t help the whole perception thing.
I mean just look at that. All Star Game MVP, and he is all “Sure, whatever.” although he does crack a smirk about the Home Run Derby win. But it isn’t laziness. He isn’t putting out low effort. It is a calm calculated way of play that allowed him to rarely miss time with injury.
The Longest Playing Angel
Oh wow, I have gotten ahead of myself. Garret Anderson played the most games in Angels history. 2013. No not the year, that is the number of games. Salmon is Mr. Angel thanks to his per game rate stats and longevity but Garret Anderson is the one who was around the longest. 341 more games than Salmon. That’s more than two whole 162 seasons worth. There is value on being there every day and Garret Anderson was that player.
Same goes for hits, Garret Anderson has almost 600 more than Salmon. In fact there is more room between 1 and 2 than 2 and 10 on Angels all time hit list. Mike Trout can reach Salmon before turning 30 but reaching Garret Anderson will take years of play AFTER THAT.
That is in part on having nearly 1500 more PA than Salmon. Yes, that is 8,480 to 7039. 1500 is the minimum needed for rate stats on these baseball websites and Garret Anderson has almost that much over second place WOW.
Averaging 134 games a season in 15 seasons give you a long time to compile. And his “seen it all bored looking attitude” is what we see, because by the time 2002 came around, Garret Anderson was 30 and had 1206 games played already which is more than what Trout had after 2019.
Now when I say compile, I meant compile. Anderson had a 105 OPS+ and it kept bouncing up and down around that 100 number his whole career. Now that may seem bad, but being a bit above average for 15 years and rarely missing days is great for the team. It doesn’t help his BWAR totals which at 28.1 is 12th all time on the team. But it does help him be that consistent player that is always there just doing his thing in LF.
2003 was his high year, not only was it the season he had a 131 OPS+ and a .885 OPS, but was an All Star winning MVP, winning a silver slugger, and the home run derby. Oh yeah he also led the AL in doubles with 49. He tended to do that.
A doubles machine, Garret Anderson liked hitting doubles. So he did so. A lot. 489 Angels doubles, Salmon is second with 339. Salmon and Vlad are closer in doubles than Anderson and Salmon. Seriously, Trout is at 251 (at the end of 2019) and still over 200 away from GA.
Which maybe makes 2002 his high year. After all he hit 56 doubles. In fact PEAK Pujols didn’t beat Garret Anderson as Pujols topped out at only 51 when in St. Louis. It is actually enough to make a list on most doubles in a season.
Oh and then there was that whole World Series thing in 2002. He did well in the ALDS and the base clearing double in the World Series was enough to win the game. And the Series, since it was game 7. Like I said, he likes hitting doubles and not smiling.
Anderson did have other big days like that 6 hit game in 1996. Hitting a home run in the 2005 ALDS. Or the other home run in the 2005 ALDS. Or that time he had 10 RBI in a game in 2007. He liked RBI as well. Sure it is more of an opportunity based thing but large sample and woah 1292. That’s over 200 more than Salmon at 1016.
They like being number one and two in stuff don’t they? Almost like they played together for a long time. Salmon did best him in home runs. Although Trout got between them for now. When it comes to extra base hits Garret Anderson has 796 much more than Salmon at 662.
The Underappreciated Angel
So why isn’t he praised like Salmon? Well rate stats. His batting average of .296 is very good. But he never had a .900 ops season and he didn’t like walking since that meant having to not hit doubles so his on base wasn’t ever spectacular, last getting a .350 OBP in his rookie season when he finished 2nd in voting. And preferring doubles over home runs doesn’t help slugging so he only reached .500 slugging 4/15 seasons.
Despite that I think 16 should be retired. I am mad that it is handed out so often. He is an integral part of the franchise. No one has played more for the Angels than he has and by the time someone actually does beat him on these records he would have held them for over a decade and a half if not more.
Garret Anderson was not a career Angel but he was drafted by the team in 1990 and he was on the team for 15 straight seasons and he has all these records. Just because he spent a year with the Braves and one with the Dodgers he is somehow dismissed?
He was inducted into the Angels HOF since Arte doesn’t believe in retiring numbers and his seriousness is often missed in this time of uncertainty. Underrated and overlooked Garret Anderson seems to not be outspoken about his own legacy. But he does smile sometimes.