Bo Jackson finished his major league career with the California Angels

Blogged under Blast from the Past,Bloglockers,Front Page,General by chinmusic on Saturday 21 May 2011 at 3:28 pm

47-year old Bo Jackson was a freak of nature for a while as he was a good baseball player with the Royals and an outstanding running back with the Raiders… the same time. Eventually, though his body gave out in 1990 when he took a hit on the hip against the Cincinnati Bengals. He wound up needing a hip replacement. He fought his way back to the majors, but he never played football again. The last season of his major league career was spent with the California Angels and he did a good job for them. He played in 75 games for the Angels in 1993 and he was 56 for 201 (.279 avg, .851 OPS) with 23 runs scored, 13 homers, 43 RBIs and 1 stolen base. Jackson proved that he could overcome all odds to get back to the majors and that is something that has always stuck in my mind about him.

Don Baylor wasn’t with the California Angels long but he made his mark

Blogged under Blast from the Past,Bloglockers,Front Page,General by chinmusic on Thursday 28 April 2011 at 2:47 pm

Giant righty swinging OF/DH Don Baylor really made a good impression in his six years with the Angels. In 1979, Baylor was a beast as he made the All-Star team while winning the American League MVP Award. Baylor playe din 162 games in 1979 for the Angels and he was 186 of 628 (.296 avg, .901 OPS) with 120 runs scored, 36 homers, 139 RBIs and 22 stolen bases. Baylor led the majors in both runs scored and RBIs in 1979. He also showed stunning discipline for a power hitter as he walked 71 times in 1979 while only whiffing 51 times. Baylor only played six years for the Angels but he played in 824 games in which he was 813 of 3,105 (.262 avg, .785 OPS) with 481 runs scored, 141 homers, 523 RBIs and 89 stolen bases. Baylor is #8 for the Angels all-time in homers with 141 and he’s also #10 in RBIs with 523.

Bert Blyleven gets elected into Baseball’s Hall of Fame

Blogged under Blast from the Past,Bloglockers,Front Page,General by chinmusic on Thursday 6 January 2011 at 9:03 pm

59-year old starting pitcher Bert Blyleven has been elected to Baseball’s Hall of Fame. Blyleven pitched in 81 games (80 starts) in three years with the California Angels (1989-1992) and he was 33-24 with a 3.92 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP. Blyleven finished his career with the Angels and he was pretty solid for them. In 1989, at the age of 38, Blyleven started 33 games in which he was 17-5 with a 2.73 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP. He finished in 4th place for the A.L. Cy Young Award in 1989 for the Angels. Blyleven pitched in 692 games (685 starts) in his 22 years in the majors and he was 287-250 with a 3.31 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP.

Darin Erstad was a fine player for the Los Angeles Angels

Blogged under Blast from the Past,Bloglockers,Front Page,General by chinmusic on Saturday 10 July 2010 at 2:34 pm

Outfielder Darin Erstad was one of the better player in Angels’ history. Erstad played 11 years for the Angels appearing in 1,320 games in which he was 1,505 for 5,258 (.286 avg, .756 OPS) with 818 runs scored, 114 homers, 625 RBIs and 170 stolen bases. He was a All-Star two times for the Angels and he won 3 Gold Gloves and 1 Silver Slugger Award with them. The 2000 season was easily Erstad’s best with the Angels. He played in 157 games that year for the Angels and he was 240 of 676 (.355 avg, .951 OPS) with 121 runs scored, 25 homers, 100 RBIs and 28 stolen bases. This was in the height of the steroids ERA however as despite his great numbers Erstad finished 8th in the voting for the A.L. MVP Award. Erstad finished his career #5 in Angels’ history in games played with 1,320. He also is #4 in runs scored (818), #4 in doubles (279), #6 in triples (30), #4 in RBIs (625), #7 in walks (419) and #4 in stolen bases (170) in Angels’ history. It certainly was fun to watch Erstad play as no one played harder than him.

Donnie Moore was a solid pitcher for the Los Angeles Angels before tragedy struck

Blogged under Blast from the Past,Bloglockers,Front Page,General by chinmusic on Monday 7 June 2010 at 2:08 pm

Righty reliever seemed to be on top of the world in 1985 with the Angels. He was a All-Star (for the only time of his career) and he finished 7th in the Cy Young Award Voting and #6 in the MVP Voting in the A.L. Moore pitched in 65 games (0 starts) for the Angels in 1985 in which he was 8-8 with 31 saves, a 1.92 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP. He pitched in 155 games (0 starts) in his four years with the Angels and he was 19-17 with 61 saves, a 2.75 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP. Moore is #5 all-time in Angels’ history in saves (61). The Angels were seemingly heading to the World Series in 1986 as they had a 3 games to 1 lead over the Red Sox. But in the ninth inning of Game #5, Moore came into the game and he gave up a game tying homer in the 9th inning to Dave Henderson of the Red Sox and then he gave up the game winning run on a sacrifice fly to Henderson in the 11th inning. The Red Sox went on to win the series making Moore the Angels’ version of Bill Buckner. On July 18, 1989 Donnie Moore lost it shooting his wife 3 times in his home in front of his three kids. His oldest daughter ran from the house with her bleeding mother taking her to the hospital. Donnie Moore’s wife survived his assault but he didn’t as he turned the gun on himself committing suicide. It’s a tragic story in that he never got the redemption that Buckner eventually did when the Red Sox won the World Series. He would have also gotten that when the Angels eventually won the World Series but he took his own life before it finally happened.

For a short while, Frank Tanana was a dominating pitcher for the Los Angeles Angels

Blogged under Blast from the Past,Bloglockers,Front Page,General by chinmusic on Thursday 28 January 2010 at 9:48 am

Lefty starting pitcher Frank Tanana was a flame thrower with the Angels early on in his career. He gave the Angels and amazing 1-2 punch at the top of the rotation with Nolan Ryan. Tanana pitched 8 years for the Angels in which he appeared in 225 games (218 starts) and he was 102-78 with a 3.08 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP. Tanana was at his best from 1975-1977 when he was a youngster (21-23 years old). During that time frame he pitched in 99 games (98 starts) for the Angels and he was 50-28 with a 2.53 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP. He has a amazing 59 complete games and 14 shutouts in those three seasons! Tanana was a three time All-Star with the Angels and he led the American League in strikeouts in 1975 with 269 of them. Tanana’s name is all over the record books for the Angels. He is #2 all-time in complete games (92) in team history, #2 in shutouts (42), #5 in games started (218), tied for #4 in wins (102), #6 in ERA (3.08), #3 in WHIP (1.17), #4 in innings pitched (1,615 1/3) and he is #4 in strikeouts (1,233). The heavy workload early in Tanana’s career really took his fastball away and he reinvented himself as a junkballing lefty and he had a very long and successful career after he left the Angels. But, his best pitching days of his career were definately with the Angels.

Brian Downing was the most unlikely lead-off hitter in Los Angeles Angels’ history

Blogged under Blast from the Past,Bloglockers,Front Page,General by chinmusic on Saturday 9 January 2010 at 4:01 pm

When you are a ex-catcher playing left field and you have the nickname of the Incredible Hulk it seems unlikely that you would be batting lead-off but that’s exactly where Brian Downing batted in the line-up and it worked. The Angels batted him at the top of the line-up because of his batting eye as he had great plate discipline. Downing played in 1,661 games in his 13 years for the Angels and he was 1,588 for 5,854 (.271 avg, .813 OPS) with 889 runs scored, 222 homers, 846 RBIs and 27 stolen bases. Downing walked 866 times for the Angels while whiffing 759 times which was part of the reason he was leading off. Downing is all over the all-time lists for the Angels as he is #3 in games played, #3 in hits, #8 in OPS, #3 in runs scored, #3 in homers, #3 in RBIs and #2 in walks. In summation, Downing is one of the most underrated players in Angels’ history.

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