Angels Great Albie Pearson RIP

Angels great Albie Pearson died last week at the age of 88. He was Eckstein before Eckstein and ranks high in many offensive categories for the Angels.

All five feet five inches of Albie Pearson personified the gritty type of player that makes fans of a team fans for life. It is almost impossible to root against men like Pearson, who appear innocent and elfin until they are beating your team with everything they have while your talent and ability are handed back to you in the loss column.

Pearson was the fourth player taken by the Halos in the December, 1960 American League expansion draft. He immediately stuck in the Angels lineup. Having won the Rookie of the Year with the original AL Senators in 1958, he was drafted to the expansion Angels from the Orioles. 

Leading off for the Angels he was encouraged to draw walks and did he ever – He had three years of more than 90 walks and never struck out more than 40 times in a season. His excellent 1962 campaign saw him lead the AL with 115 Runs Scored with 160 hits and 96 BB in 718 Plate Appearances. He was an All Star in 1963 and got MVP votes after batting .304 with a .402 On Base Percentage. Consider that the 5.5 WAR he earned that year is tied in franchise history with Troy Glaus’ monster 2001 season. Glaus had 41 HR that year. Albie had six in his stellar season. Pearson is the point where advanced stats and grit meet.

He remains historically the most difficult Angel to ever strikeout with a 14.7 AB per SO rate – number one in club history for players with more than 1500 PA in an Angels uniform.

Pearson will always be one of the most beloved Angels and established a benchmark for giving it one’s all that endeared him to the fans. One of only a few players who called Wrigley Field, Chavez Ravine and Anaheim Stadium home, he got his uniform dirty everywhere he went.


1st place all time 14.7 ABs per K

5th place all time .379 On Base Percentage

12th place all time 369 Walks

18th place all time with 36 Sacrifice Hits

20th place all time 13.6 Offensive WAR ranks

25th place all time 374 Runs Scored

25th place 108 OPS+ (tied w/ Howie Kendrick and Albert Pujols)

25th place 997 Times on Base

26th place 13.1 WAR (tied with David Eckstein and just ahead of Albert Pujols’ 12.8 WAR as an Angel… and for $239+ Million less)

26th place 61 Stolen Bases

30th place .275 Batting Average

33rd place .745 OPS

33rd place 618 Hits

33rd place 689 Games Played

34th place 2,247 At Bats

34th place 2,668 Plate Appearances

36th place 98 doubles

37th place 822 Total Bases

43rd place 139 XBH – Extra Base Hits

Via BaseballReferenceDotCom, Rate stats require a minimum of 1,500 Place Appearances for the franchise (76 Angels qualify for 1,500 PAs).


4th place single season 17.1 At Bats per K in 1962

7th place 15.6 AB per K in 1963

8th place single season .420 On Base Percentage in 1961

9th place 718 Plate Appearances in 1962

9th place 115 Runs Scored in 1962 (tied with 1998 Jim Edmonds and 2018 Mike Trout)

11th place 96 BB in 1961 (tied with 2001 Tim Salmon and the 2021 Shohei Ohtani MVP season)

12th place 160 Games Played in 1962

14th place 95 BB in 1962 (tied with 1997 Tim Salmon)

18th place .402 OBP in 1964 (tied with 2018 Mike Trout)

19th place 5.5 Offensive WAR in 1963 (tied with 2001 Troy Glaus)

20th place 92 BB in 1963

27th place 684 PAs in 1963

29th place 614 At Bats in 1962

30th place 176 Hits in 1963 (tied with 1988 Wally Joyner)

30th place .304 batting average in 1963

43rd place 4.9 WAR in 1963 

49th place 92 Runs Scored in 1961 & 1963 (tied with seven other Angels)

Via BaseballReferenceDotCom, Rate stats require a minimum of 100 Games Played in the season with the franchise.

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Super Member
1 year ago

My first favorite Angel. He and Steve Bilko were an amazing pair to behold.

Jeff Joiner
1 year ago

An All Time Angel. RIP Albie.

1 year ago

Too bad we did not reach ‘P’ before he died. RIP.

1 year ago

My very first Angels favorite, he made the Angels exciting. One of my brothers used to get Albie mixed up with Jimmy Piersall, lol. He just seemed to be on base all the time. He was our Maury Wills. Albie to me as a kid was far better than my brother’s choice for the best in SoCal, Willie Davis, but in the short run my pick was better. Dad would take us to see both LA teams and in ’62 and ’64 we were fun to watch. Dad and I liked the Angels better and my brothers preferred the Doyers.

R.I.P. Albie

1 year ago

And to think that his 1963 season accomplishments were performed in the cavernous dimensions of old Dodger stadium is even more impressive .

1 year ago

Great write-up on Albie, a hero from El Monte High School in my hometown!