The Angel’s All Time Mount Rushmore

When it comes to celebrating players, an alternative to just doing numbers like we have been here at Crashing the Pearly Gates, is the idea of a Mount Rushmore for the franchise. After all, celebrating the 4 players that define the team has merits to it.

So, who are on the Mount Rushmore of the Angels? Well, you saw 2 of them already, and the other 2 are so easy to guess that if you didn’t know them already before reading this, you are from the far future. That and you cannot see the title image. For all the blind Angels fans, I am sorry.

Now, why these 4? Short answer, because Rev made the list. Long answer? Well, let’s go over them one by one.

Jim Fregosi

Hey, 2002. A coincidence? Yes.

As written by Charles here, Jim Fregosi defined the early years Angels baseball. He was the face of the first era of the team, and even came back to coach. At the time of his departure, he held basically every record and even here, decades later, he is still high on so many lists.

In fact, he was the Angels’ first Baseball Reference WARLORD, (the leader in Baseball Reference WAR in Franchise history) which he kept until the 90’s. Not that fans knew what that meant at the time, but in hindsight, it makes perfect sense why he is ranked so high. Even now, he is 3rd all time with the Angels and made it to the 21st century still being the batting WARLORD for the club.

For these reasons, it seems like he would be an obvious choice to have here on the Mount Rushmore for the team. He is basically the George Washington of the Angels in a way.

Chuck Finley

Quick, who owns the Angel’s wins record? Nope. Chuck Finley. Innings pitched? Chuck Finley. Same with Games started. He didn’t have the peak of the other great Angels pitchers but wow, that longevity. 1986-1999. That is how you make an impact. Also, you should have seen this coming since Charles write an article on him.

Yes I seriously made a Chuck Testa joke in 2021. Sorry.

Doesn’t help that he was the Angels WARLORD until very recently, meaning that, best to best, Chuck Finley was the Angel’s representative in head to head vs other teams when it came to Baseball Reference WAR. 52 is not quite at HOF levels, especially at Starting Pitcher, but it did keep the team from being an embarrassment in that regard.

Seriously, 52 Baseball Reference WAR would be good for 26th out of 30. That sounds bad, because it isn’t good for the oldest expansion team, but if you didn’t include him, it would have been Jim Fregosi at 45.9, which is 29th out of 30. Of course, he isn’t the WARLORD anymore, but he still has the most amongst pitchers, which is why he is still on this list.

Tim Salmon

Of course Tim Salmon would be on the Angels Mount Rushmore. His nickname is Mr. Angel for crying out loud! What do I even need to say about him? That he was the face of the team as it went from the dark days until the Halos reached heaven in 7? Or that he held the Angels home run record until 2020? Do you prefer the fact that he spent his entire career on the Angels when he could have left for a team that was actually competitive?

It is Tim Salmon, you do not need convincing. He is on the Angels Mount Rushmore because it is obvious, and sometimes the obvious answer is obvious for a reason and to not to just to be different would be stupid.

Mr. Angel the Kingfish

So instead, have some highlights, like an interview before his debut. Have his first career hit too. Then have a home run in his first MLB series. And have a walk off. I could go for a grand slam. Maybe another good old walk off home run as a rookie can wash that down. Defense is good, rob a home run would you? Here is him setting the Angels rookie Home Run record. And here is him setting the Angels all time record. Oh and 2002 World Series Game 2 two home run game.

He is in the Angels HOF as he rightfully should be. Even though he isn’t quite good enough for Cooperstown, he will always be remembered in Anaheim. My first Angels memorabilia I can ever remember getting was a Tim Salmon bobblehead. It wasn’t sturdy, and it broke, but when I had it, I was so proud. King Fish was never in doubt.

Mike Trout

Alright so older Angels fans know that Mike Trout was not nearly this high when Rev made this list back at [REDACTED] so what has changed since then? Um, well, he kept on being the best player in baseball, that is what. The question back the was; Could he keep it up? Well he did, all throughout his 20’s.

Seriously, objectively speaking, Mike Trout is the best player in Angels history. He has the top 6 Baseball Reference WAR seasons in Angels history, the top 7 in OPS+, the top 3 in OPS, and the Top 8 in Offensive Baseball Reference WAR. Honestly, it can be Mike Trout as all the Top 10 soon if 2020 could have been normal.

In my opinion, he is the most important player in Angels History and that extension is the biggest thing for the Angels since he was drafted. He has single handedly dragged this franchise from 26th to 19th in the WARLORD leaderboard and he hasn’t turned 30 yet. 74.6 is already HOF worthy and he has made the last decade watchable by himself.

You have been TROUT SLAPPED!

Thanks to the internet, it has been easier to watch Mike Trout’s highlights. Like here is his first 300 home runs. And his 300th in particular. Hell, take a look at his defense. Seriously, Mike Trout has been talked about so much that the Angels are always in the news even though this team has had one playoff series in his career.

The Express went in with a Rangers cap, and many fans still see Vladdy as an Expo, but Mike Trout is, and always will be associated with the Angels the same way that Mantle is with MFY, Ted Williams with Boston, and Aaron with the Braves. That, after a World Series, is the most important thing.

Number 1

The real question coming into this list was who would be at number 1. The answer is FISH!

If I feed Mike Salmon, I’ll be an abomination!

Alright but seriously, Salmon or Trout? Well as a way to show that this is a community, (and totally not because we are indecisive) it is up to you, the great fans here at Crashing the Pearly Gates. Tell us who number 1 should be. Is a ring more important? Or is it 3 MVPs and being the best player in MLB From 2003-2020?

When you are doing that, go ahead and tell us if we did it right with the Angels Mount Rushmore. Would you take these 4? Who would you have instead? Leave a comment or 12 about all of this and feel free to submit a fanpost. But please, we are all Angels fans here, be civil.

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AnAngelsFan
Super Member
3 years ago

I asked myself, if Trout retired today, would he still be the greatest Angel? Then I tried to justify saying no. Technically, he has 10 MLB seasons but the first one was just a call-up and the last one was 2020, so it’s really only 8 seasons.

Well, so what? In those 8 seasons he was a top-3 WAR player 7 times. The only year he wasn’t, 2017, he was still #4 in WAR among position players in only 114 games. During his time here, Trout has basically been as good as Salmon and GA combined.

I just don’t think this is a case where it is fair to say Trout will probably be the greatest Angel but he hasn’t earned it yet. He’s already earned the title and can spend the next 10 seasons making it really hard to catch him.

Last edited 3 years ago by AnAngelsFan
GrandpaBaseball
Legend
3 years ago

Fregosi, Ryan, Anderson, Salmon, Vlad, Trout. The first Star of the Angels, Ryan was the only real draw in the ’70’s with records of Strikeouts, Team leader in Hits, Salmon was first farm grown HR hitter, Vlad as the only MLBHOF Angel inductee, Trout as the life long Angel.

Who do you remove? Why maybe Salmon as he does not hold the HR record any longer? Maybe Vlad because he did not play that long? Anderson because of a low WAR?

The Mount Rushmore was supposed to have two additional faces but funds were short along with poor quality stone.

WallyChuckChili
Legend
3 years ago

Joe Blanton
Mo Vaughn
Josh Hamilton
Vernon Wells

steelgolf
Legend
3 years ago

Well played.

Fansince1971
Legend
3 years ago

That’s the Mount Flushmore

WallyChuckChili
Legend
3 years ago
Reply to  Fansince1971

Don’t know if it would Flush. Probably clog and overflow

AnAngelsFan
Super Member
3 years ago

Whatever would happen, we do know it would be expensive.

steelgolf
Legend
3 years ago

For me it is Trout, Salmon, Downing, and Grich. For number 5, I have Fregosi.

Simba
Trusted Member
3 years ago

Growing up with the Angels in the 70s, it is hard for me an Angels Mount Rushmore without Ryan. He was the face of the franchise for that decade.

Going with a very unquantitative list of most meaningful Angels to me, my list would be:

Ryan, Vlad, Trout, and Percy. Guys I always wanted to watch.

P.S. I really have trouble commenting – I’d say 9/10 attempts fail (this is my 6th attempt at this one ….). I just get a little wavy bar thing in the upper right corner, and nothing happens. Using Chrome on a Mac.

Charles Sutton
Editor
Super Member
3 years ago
Reply to  Simba

You have plenty of comments to prevent you from alerting the anti-robot software. Maybe Jessica can figure out what is going on. We’ve been taking measures to try to keep site loading speed up, but still maybe you are getting timed out somehow.

Last edited 3 years ago by Charles Sutton
red floyd
Legend
3 years ago

Re: Trout Defensive Highlights

I like watching Mike Trout do Mike Trout things

Eric_in_Portland
Legend
3 years ago

I’m not sure where I’d have Dean Chance. Maybe 6 years is too few. Brian Downing would probably make my top four. Ok, I’ll go with that.

  1. Trout
  2. Salmon
  3. Ryan
  4. Downing
Fansince1971
Legend
3 years ago

I’m down with Downing 😃

But again I think the team’s only HOfer has to be up on that fake Weitzel mountain gif.

JackFrost
Super Member
3 years ago

Mine would be either;

Trout, GA, Salmon and Grich or Trout, GA, Salmon and Downing. Ryan is # 6 on my list ( not long enough and no cap etc).

Eric_in_Portland
Legend
3 years ago
Reply to  JackFrost

GA is a great choice

matthiasstephan
Super Member
3 years ago

GA is a lazy choice

Fansince1971
Legend
3 years ago

#1 has to be Trout. 4 years ago might be different. But Trout has now been an Angel for a decade (and what a decade!). Plus he’s got all the good-guy stuff that Salmon does.

I’m okay with Salmon at #2 based on everything he meant to the team, his 14 seasons, his performance in the 2002 World Series and his being truly a standup, wonderful guy.

Fregosi and Finley – I can understand the arguments and accept Rev’s ranking system. I’ve got other guys I would have put in the top-4. The franchise’s only HOFer should arguably be on the franchise’s Rushmore. And I also feel that Ryan and his 8 dominant seasons with the team (including 4 no hitters) should be there..

My Rushmore would look like this – in order.

Trout, Ryan, Salmon and Vlad

I’d have Fergosi at 5 but would also be okay with Vlad at 5 and Fregosi at 4.

Last edited 3 years ago by Fansince1971
HalosFanForLife
Trusted Member
3 years ago
Reply to  Fansince1971

That’s exactly my rankings. I had Fregosi (who was one of my favorites) much lower.

Fansince1971
Legend
3 years ago

Agreed re Fregosi. If I sat down and did the full rankings, he would probably be around # 9 or #10 for me (and I loved him as a player as well). I included him in my response only bc CTPGs had Fregosi where they did. He would not be in my top 5.

Jeff Joiner
Editor
Legend
3 years ago

Love this. While I think ultimately the answer will be Trout, at this stage there’s an argument either way and that could come down to age/era.

If you are around 40 like me, then Tim Salmon was the Angels of your youth. You followed him year after year until he finally broke through and got the title.

Younger fans have grown up with Trout, whose individual seasons are greater. It is easier to logically conclude Trout is #1. But try as we may, emotions still get in the way.

Senator_John_Blutarsky
Legend

I love Tim Salmon and what he did for the Angels. However, the answer has to be Trout. When his playing days are done, Trout’s results and impact on Angels baseball are destined to be significantly greater than Salmon’s.

JackFrost
Super Member
3 years ago

I love Timmy, but you are correct.

GA gets neglected in these lists. I think he’s at least top 5 and one could make an argument for top three.

Re Trout; he HAS to be Angel # 1 if for no other reason than he is ALREADY included in many All-Time Great lists for ALL MLB players through history. The rise and importance of WAR as a metric surely has a lot to do with that.

But he has put together some of the greatest seasons for any player anywhere, ever. In particular, the start of his career (first four or five seasons) is unparalleled in MLB history

Jeff Joiner
Editor
Legend
3 years ago
Reply to  JackFrost

GA greatly underrated IMO.

red floyd
Legend
3 years ago
Reply to  JackFrost

If GA wasn’t so lazy, he’d put himself on top of the list.