The Angels Should Pay Attention to This Trout Achievement

The Angels management has really struck out lately when it comes to acknowledging major achievements in their franchise’s history.

Last year they ignored a chance to honor the 60th anniversary of what I consider to be the second greatest team the Angels have ever had. It was the second year of their existence, and everyone had expected the Angels to finish as one of the three worst teams in the ten-team American League, somewhere about 30 games behind whoever the pennant winner would turn out to be.

It was a reasonable expectation. The Angels had constructed their roster the year before from a pool of the worst players from each existing team, and there was little chance of improving their roster for the 1962 season. No one would want to trade a player of value to the Angels to get poor value in return. There was no opportunity to improve via free agency because it didn’t exist then in the form that we know it now.

Yet these 1962 Angels had four players on that year’s All-Star team, one of whom took home ASG MVP honors, and were in first place on the fourth of July. They would challenge the Twins and Yankees in the final months of the season for the pennant.

Their rookie catcher played in 155 games, was the best defensive catcher in the league, and was 5th in the AL in doubles. Their first baseman had 26 home runs and 104 RBI. Their second baseman led all MLB second basemen in home runs that year and was an excellent executor of the hit-and-run. Jim Fregosi was called up at the beginning of July and was fantastic. Their third baseman had 74 RBI in just 127 games. Their right fielder had 37 home runs and 107 RBI. Their center fielder led the league in runs scored. Left field was the only soft spot in the lineup, and many players took their turn there, but one of them set the Major League record for most consecutive plate appearances reaching base safely.

On the pitching side, Bo Belinsky had a good year that was highlighted by his no-hitter on May 5th. In one stretch, sinkerballer Ken McBride won eleven consecutive decisions. Rookie Dean Chance was terrific, as was Don Lee (124 ERA+) who was acquired at the beginning of June. The Angels also had one of the league’s best bullpens that year. Ryne Duren was regarded as the hardest thrower in the Majors. Art Fowler was terrific as the stopper who came in during high leverage situations to save the game.

The Angels could have spend last season honoring this tremendous team and educating the many fans who don’t know about the miraculous achievement of the 1962 Angels, but they didn’t.

And this year, the Angels are doing it again. They are failing to recognize the amazing, historic achievement that Mike Trout is on the verge of accomplishing.

Mike Trout is nearing the end of his journey to become the All-Time Home Run Leader of the American League West.

We are now in the 55th year of the American League West, and Mike Trout is on the cusp of becoming the division’s all-time home run leader. That will be a legendary accomplishment, and I have heard bupkis from the Angels about this. Where is the giant AL West HR Leaderboard on the concourse that keeps track of Trout’s home run total and celebrates each time he passes up one of the legendary names on the board? Where are the announcers mentioning it in the broadcasts? Where is the excited anticipation in the stadium crowds? Where are the signs? Where is the hoopla?

Mike Trout is going to become the AL West Home Run King, and no one will even realize it when it happens.

The American League Western Division began with the expansion of the league in 1969 with the addition of the Seattle Pilots and the Kansas City Royals. This addition expanded the league from ten teams to twelve, and since there were so many teams, officials decided to split the league up into two divisions. The Angels were one of the founding members of the AL West, along with the A’s, White Sox, Twins, Royals, and Pilots.

As I write this post, Mike Trout just hit career home run number 355 in the back-to-back-to-back feat accomplished by Taylor Ward, Trout, and Shohei Ohtani in Sunday’s series finale against the Royals.

Here is the list of the AL West Career Home Run Leaders:

  1. Ken Griffey, Jr. (SEA) 417
  2. Juan Gonzalez (TEX) 372
  3. Mark McGwire (OAK) 363
  4. Reggie Jackson (OAK/CAL) 362
  5. Mike Trout (LAA) 355
  6. Alex Rodriguez (SEA/TEX) 345
  7. Rafael Palmeiro (TEX) 321
  8. Nelson Cruz (TEX/SEA) 320
  9. George Brett (KCR) 317
  10. Edgar Martinez(SEA) 309

This is a list of legends, and our Mike Trout is going to climb to the top of this list sometime next year if health allows. Seven more home runs and he ties Reggie for fourth place. One more homer after that and he ties McGwire for third place. And then not long after that, he will pass Gonzalez and will sit at number two all-time in the history of the AL West, and Junior will be within reach in 2024 when Trout should claim the title as the division’s all-time home run king.


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Super Member
1 month ago

Second best is right on. They played in the brand new Dodgers Stadium and loved playing there. My favorite played CF, Albie Pearson. The team never said no to autographs either.

Trusted Member
1 month ago

It’s an interesting stat, and a GREAT history lesson for those kids on the lawn… but one that seems to be in search of an audience outside of us. I don’t recall ever seeing anything that Jr. was the “All-time AL West HR Leader”, or Gonzalez being #2, etc..

Sort of like those obscure things the TV guys dig up, “Ohtani leads all of baseball in left-handed home runs with two strikes in the count on days over 77 degrees!”. Which, again only to me, appear to try to make a GREAT player seem even better than he already is.

Rev Halofan
Trusted Member
1 month ago

The basic Normal-Trout-Season™ this year will put him at Number two all time, by the end of his next NTS™ he will surpass Griffey-J and then perhaps get a giveaway game bobblehead…

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