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California Angels

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California Angels

"Los Angeles Angels" redirects here. For other teams that have gone by this name, see Los Angeles Angels (disambiguation).
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
2015 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim season
Established 1961
Based in Anaheim since 1966
Team logo Cap insignia
Major league affiliations
Current uniform
Retired numbers 11 · 26 · 29 · 30 · 42 · 50
  • Red, Navy Blue, White


  • Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (2005–present)
Other nicknames
  • The Halos
  • a.k.a. Edison International Field (19982003)
  • a.k.a. Anaheim Stadium (19661997)
Major league titles
World Series titles (1) 2002
AL Pennants (1) 2002
West Division titles (8) 2009 · 2008 · 2007 · 2005 · 2004 · 1986 · 1982 · 1979
Wild card berths (1) 2002
Front office
Owner(s) Arte Moreno
Manager Mike Scioscia
General Manager Jerry Dipoto
President of Baseball Operations John Carpino

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are a professional baseball team based in Anaheim, California, United States. The Angels are a member of the Western Division of Major League Baseball's American League. The "Angels" name is a tribute to the previous Los Angeles Angels who played in South Central L.A. from 1903-1957. The Angels have been based in Angel Stadium of Anaheim since 1966. The Angels franchise of today was established in the MLB in 1961 through Gene Autry, the team’s first Major League owner who bought the rights to continue the franchise name from Walter O'Malley, the former Los Angeles Dodgers owner who acquired the franchise from Phil Wrigley, the owner of the Chicago Cubs at the time.

In 2009, the Angels were AL Western Division champions for the third straight season. 2013 is the fourth straight year in which the team has not made the playoffs, but marks the eleventh straight year in which the Angels franchise has drawn more than three million fans in attendance, and makes thirty seasons of at least two million fans in attendance, a feat only second to the New York Yankees.[1] In 2011, ESPN ranked the Los Angeles Angels #4 on its list of Ultimate Team Rankings ahead of every team in baseball and any franchise in Los Angeles.[2]

Franchise history

The "Los Angeles Angels" name originates from the first Los Angeles-based sports team, the Los Angeles Angels, who took the name "Angels" from the English translation of "Los Angeles", which means "The Angels" in Spanish. The team name started in 1892; in 1903, the team name continued in L.A. through the Pacific Coast League, which is now a minor league affiliate of MILB. The Angels franchise of today was established in MLB in 1961 after former owner Gene Autry bought the rights to continue the franchise name from Walter O'Malley, the former Los Angeles Dodgers owner who had acquired the franchise from Phil Wrigley, the owner of the Chicago Cubs at the time. As stated in the book Under the Halo: The Official History of Angels Baseball, "Autry agreed to buy the franchise name for $350,000, and continue the history of the previously popular Pacific Coast League team as his own expansion team in the MLB."[3] After the Angels joined Major League Baseball, some players from the Angels' PCL team joined the MLB Angels in 1961.

An expansion franchise, the club continued in Los Angeles as the Los Angeles Angels, and played their home games at Los Angeles' Wrigley Field (not to be confused with Chicago's stadium of the same name), which had formerly been the home of the PCL Los Angeles Angels. The Angels were one of the first two expansion teams (along with the Washington Senators [now Texas Rangers]) in Major League Baseball. The team then moved in 1962 to newly built Dodger Stadium, which the Angels referred to as Chavez Ravine, where they were tenants of the Los Angeles Dodgers through 1965.

The team's founder, entertainer Gene Autry, owned the franchise for its first 36 years. During Autry's ownership, the team made the playoffs three times, but never won the pennant. The team has gone through several name changes in their history, first changing their name to the California Angels on September 2, 1965, with a month still left in the season, in recognition of their upcoming move to the newly constructed Anaheim Stadium in Anaheim at the start of the 1966 season.[4] When The Walt Disney Company took control of the team in 1997, it extensively renovated Anaheim Stadium, which was then renamed Edison International Field of Anaheim. The City of Anaheim contributed $30 million to the $118 million renovation with a renegotiated lease providing that the names of both the stadium and team contain the word "Anaheim".[5] The team was renamed the Anaheim Angels and became a subsidiary of Disney Sports, Inc. (later renamed Anaheim Sports, Inc.). Under Disney's ownership and the leadership of manager Mike Scioscia, the Angels finally won their first pennant and world championship in 2002.

In 2005, new owner Arturo Moreno added "Los Angeles" to the team's name in order to better tap into the team's history and appeal to more Los Angeles fans as in the team's past. He also stated that as Los Angeles is the second largest market in the U.S., its addition would benefit the team greatly. In compliance with the terms of its lease with the city of Anaheim, which required "Anaheim" be a part of the team's name, the team was renamed the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Hotly disputed when initially announced, the change was eventually upheld in court and the city finally dropped its four-year legal battle in 2009. The team usually refers to itself as the Angels or Angels Baseball in its home media market, and the words "Los Angeles" and "LAA" do not appear in the stadium, on the Angels' uniforms, or on official team merchandise. Local media in Southern California tend to omit a geographic identifier and refer to the team as the Angels or as the Halos. The Associated Press, the most prominent news service in the U.S., refers to the team as the Los Angeles Angels, the Angels, or Los Angeles.[6]

Prelude: The American League comes to Los Angeles

For many years, there had been talk of an existing American League team relocating to L.A. the largest city in California and the West coast. In 1940, the St. Louis Browns asked AL owners for permission to move to Los Angeles, but were turned down. They planned another move for the 1942 season, and this time got permission from the league. A schedule was even drawn up including Los Angeles, but the bombing of Pearl Harbor in December 1941 made major-league sports of any sort on the West Coast unviable. In 1953, there was again talk of the Browns moving to L.A. for the 1954 season, but the team was sold and moved to Baltimore instead as the Orioles. There were on-again, off-again discussions between city officials and the Washington Senators regarding a possible move. There were also rumors that the Philadelphia Athletics' move to Kansas City in 1955 was a temporary stop on the way to Los Angeles.

In the end it was the National League that first came to the city, in the form of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Dodgers owner Walter O'Malley purchased the Pacific Coast League(PCL)'s Los Angeles Angels in early 1957 from Chicago Cubs owner Phil Wrigley. Under the rules of the time, he also acquired the rights to a major league team in Los Angeles, which he used to move the Dodgers there a year later. Under ordinary circumstances, that would have precluded any subsequent American League presence in the Los Angeles area. However, in an effort to prevent the proposed Continental League from becoming a reality, in 1960 the two existing leagues agreed to expand, adding two new teams to each league. Though the understanding was that expansion teams would be placed in cities without major league baseball, that agreement quickly broke down. When the National League placed a team in New York (the Mets) as its tenth franchise, the American League announced plans to place an expansion team in Los Angeles, to begin play in 1961.

The inception of a franchise

The team has an owner

Gene Autry, former movie cowboy, singer, actor and owner of Golden West Broadcasters (including Los Angeles' KMPC radio and KTLA television), attended the Major League Owners’ meeting in St. Louis in 1960 in hopes of winning broadcasting rights for the new team’s games. Hall of Famer Hank Greenberg was initially on the fast track to be the team's first owner, with Bill Veeck as a partner. However, when O'Malley got word of Veeck's involvement, he invoked his exclusive right to operate a major league team in Southern California. In truth, O'Malley wasn't about to compete with Veeck, who was known as a master promoter. After it became obvious that O'Malley would never sign off on the deal as long as Veeck was a part-owner, Greenberg was forced to bow out. After another bid by Chicago insurance executive and future A's owner Charlie Finley failed, Autry was persuaded to make a bid himself. Autry (who had been a minority stockholder in the Angels' PCL rival, the Hollywood Stars) agreed, and purchased the franchise.

The team gets its name

Autry named the new franchise the Los Angeles Angels. The origins of the name date back to 1892, when it was first used by a Los Angeles franchise in the California League. The Angel moniker has always been natural for Los Angeles teams, since The Angels is a literal English translation of the Spanish Los Angeles. It was also a nod to the long-successful PCL team that played in Los Angeles from 1903 through 1957. O'Malley still owned the rights to the Angels name even after moving the team to Spokane to make way for the Dodgers, so Autry paid O'Malley $300,000 for the rights to the name.

The 1960s: early AL years

Angels in Los Angeles

The Angels and their fellow expansionists, the new Washington Senators (now the Texas Rangers) chose players from other American League teams in an expansion draft. In 1961, the first year of the team’s existence, the Angels finished 70-91 for a .435 winning percentage, still the highest winning percentage ever for a first-year major league expansion team. Moreover, they not only finished 9 games ahead of the Senators, but also 9 games ahead of the Kansas City Athletics. The 1961 Angels featured portly first baseman Steve Bilko, a long-time fan favorite, having played many years with the PCL Angels. Another favorite was the diminutive (5' 5-3/8") center fielder, El Monte native Albie Pearson. The Angels played that inaugural season at Wrigley Field in South Los Angeles, the longtime home of the PCL Angels and also of the syndicated television series Home Run Derby.


In 1962, under the terms of their agreement with O'Malley, the Angels moved to Dodger Stadium, which they would refer to as Chavez Ravine. That year, the Angels were a contender for the American League pennant for most of the season, even leading the American League standings on July 4, before finishing in third place, 10 games behind the New York Yankees, who won their 27th American League pennant. On May 5 of that year, Bo Belinsky tossed the first no-hit game in the history of Dodger Stadium/Chavez Ravine, blanking the Orioles 5-0.


In 1964, the Halos again finished fifth in the American League, and pitcher Dean Chance won the Major League Cy Young Award that year. The need for a new stadium became more and more evident. It was thought the Angels would never develop a large fan base playing as tenants of the Dodgers. Also, O'Malley imposed fairly onerous lease conditions on the Angels; for example, he charged them for 50% of all stadium supplies, even though the Angels at the time drew at best half of the Dodgers' attendance.


Hittin' the Road: the move from Los Angeles to Anaheim

Stymied in his attempt to get a new stadium in Los Angeles, Autry looked elsewhere. His first choice for a stadium was the site offered by the city of Long Beach. However, the city insisted the team be renamed the Long Beach Angels, a condition Autry refused to accept. Autry said it's an ideal minor league city for an Angels farm team that didn't last long in the California League and Pacific Coast League. He was able to strike a deal with the suburban city of Anaheim in Orange County 25 miles southeast of downtown L.A. on Interstate 5 adjacent to Disneyland, and construction began on Anaheim Stadium (nicknamed The Big A by Southern Californians), where the Angels moved in 1966. On September 2, 1965, team ownership announced the Los Angeles Angels would thenceforth be known as the California Angels, in anticipation of the team's move to Anaheim the following year. They were the second Major League baseball team to be named after an entire state, following the Minnesota Twins. At the time, though they were one of three major league teams in the state of California, the Angels were the only American League team in the state. (Despite the move of the Kansas City Athletics to Oakland in 1968, the Angels retained their California moniker through 1996.) They were also the first Major League Baseball team that was originally from California (The Dodgers, as well the Giants were from New York, the A's were from Kansas City, and Philadelphia before that, and the Padres were granted Major League status after the Angels.) But it is thought the team's namesake representing the state included a spring training site in the affluent winter resort city Palm Springs 80 miles to the east where team owner Gene Autry lived, the team played some pre-season and April exhibition games there from its inaugural season (1961) for the next three decades to 1992.

In their last year at Chavez Ravine, the Angels drew only 566,727 paying customers. In their 1966 inaugural year in Anaheim, the Angels drew over 1.4 million, leading the American League in attendance. In 1967, their second year in Anaheim, the Angels contended for the American League pennant as part of a five-team pennant race (along with Chicago, Detroit, Minnesota and eventual winner Boston) before fading in late August, but eventually became the "spoilers" by defeating Detroit at Tiger Stadium in the last game of the regular season to give Boston its first AL pennant in 21 years. In 1970, the Angels finished third in the AL Western Division and Alex Johnson became the first (and so far only) Angel to win an American League batting title.

The 1970s: Nolan Ryan and the playoffs

The Ryan express

During the 1970s, although Angel fans endured some mediocre years on the field they also were able to enjoy the heroics of fireballer Nolan Ryan, who tossed four of his seven no-hitters as an Angel.[7] He also set several strikeout records throughout his career, most notably a 383-strikeout mark in 1973, still a major league record. Ryan was acquired in a trade that sent Jim Fregosi to the Mets. Ryan had been a middle relief pitcher on the "Miracle Mets" team that captured the 1969 World Series. Ryan's feats caused him to be named the Ryan Express, after the 1965 film Von Ryan's Express, which starred Frank Sinatra. His prowess, combined with that of fellow moundsman Frank Tanana, produced the refrain, "Tanana, Ryan and Two Days of Cryin'", a derivative of the refrain, "Spahn and Sain, then pray for rain," coined when Warren Spahn and Johnny Sain anchored the pitching staff of the then Boston Braves in the 1940s.

Ironically, the 1970s came to a close with the decision by then-general manager Buzzie Bavasi to allow Ryan to become a free agent. At the time, Bavasi remarked that Ryan, whose 1979 record was 16-14 (Ryan was 26-27 under Bavasi), could be replaced "with two pitchers who go 8-7." Bavasi later admitted this was "the worst mistake" he ever made in all his years in baseball."[8]

1979: Angels finally reach the playoffs

The Angels won their first American League West Division championship in 1979 under manager Jim Fregosi, a former Angel shortstop who was sent to the New York Mets in 1972 as part of the trade that brought Nolan Ryan to the Angels. Don Baylor became the first designated hitter to win the American League Most Valuable Player award. Other contributors to the team, which featured a powerful offense, were Bert Campaneris, Rod Carew, Dan Ford and Bobby Grich. However, the Angels lost what then was a best 3-out-of-5 ALCS to the Baltimore Orioles, managed by Earl Weaver, three games to one. The Halos won Game 3 at home, scoring twice in the bottom of the 9th inning to shade Baltimore 4-3.

The 1980s: A decade of frustration

1979 had been the Angels' last season at the "old" Big A. The Los Angeles Rams football team agreed to move to Anaheim for the 1980 season, with seating increased to almost 65,000. The expansion completely enclosed the stadium, replacing the view of the San Gabriel and Santa Ana Mountains with three decks of gray concrete. In the 1980s, like many other baseball teams of that era, the Angels learned the difficulties of marketing the team while playing in a multi-purpose facility with a seating capacity too large for baseball.

1982: One game away

The Angels nearly reached the World Series in the 1982 postseason. Reggie Jackson, who previously starred for the Oakland Athletics and the New York Yankees, joined the Angels that year and teamed with many holdovers from the 1979 team for the 1982 effort. The team was helmed by manager Gene Mauch, who would also manage the team during their 1986 postseason appearance. After clinching their second AL West championship, the Angels won the first two games of the best-of-five ALCS against the AL East champion Milwaukee Brewers — then promptly dropped the next three in a row to lose the series. As Steve Bisheff wrote in Tales from the Angels Dugout, “No team in history had ever come back from an 0-2 deficit to win in a best-of-five series. Of course, no team had ever faced the Angels in that situation.” (At that time, the team with home field advantage played the first two games on the road before hosting the final three games at home, a format that was changed following the 1984 season. In subsequent years, the same has happened to other teams.)

1986: One strike away

Again, the Halos nearly reached the World Series in the 1986 postseason. Baylor was gone, but among the new additions were American League Rookie of the Year runner-up Wally Joyner and pitcher Chuck Finley. Champions of the AL West for the third time, the Angels faced the AL East champions Boston Red Sox in the ALCS. Leading in the series three games to one, the Angels were one out away from defeating Boston and going to the World Series for the first time in their history. Leading 5-2 in the top of the ninth inning of Game 5, starter Mike Witt surrendered a two-run home run to former Angel Don Baylor, cutting the Angels' lead to 5-4. After reliever Gary Lucas hit Rich Gedman with his first and only pitch, closer Donnie Moore came in to shut the door. Though twice the Angels were one strike away from the Series, Moore gave up a two-out, two-strike, two-run home run to Dave Henderson that put Boston ahead 6-5.

Although the Angels managed to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth, Henderson again came through for the Red Sox with a sacrifice fly in the 11th, eventually giving Boston a 7-6 victory. Thoroughly shocked, the Angels then travelled to Fenway Park and were blown out in Games 6 and 7 as the Red Sox claimed the pennant. Boston would go on to lose the 1986 World Series in seven games to the New York Mets, a series known for the infamous Bill Buckner error in Game 6.

In the aftermath of the ALCS, Angels fans regarded Henderson's home run off Moore as the point at which their team had been closest to the World Series, and thus Moore became the scapegoat for the Angels' loss of the pennant. Although the fans were hard on him, Moore (who had battled depression in the past) was even harder on himself, and that one pitch to Henderson that turned the tide of the ALCS haunted him for the rest of his days. He would take his own life three years later, claiming to have never gotten over that moment. Moore's suicide was the latest in a series of tragedies that dogged the team (star outfielder Lyman Bostock was shot to death in 1978 while visiting friends in Gary, Indiana) and gave rise to talk of a "hex" on the franchise. The Angels would not qualify for the playoffs for the next 16 years.

The early 1990s: Struggles on field and off

For most of the 1990s, the Angels played sub-.500 baseball, due in no small part to the confusion which reigned at the top. Gene Autry, though holding a controlling interest in the Angels, was in control in name only due to poor health in his advanced years. Autry’s wife Jackie, 20 years his junior, at times seemed to be the decision-maker, and at other times The Walt Disney Company, then a minority owner, seemed to be in charge.

On May 21, 1992, an Angels' team bus traveling from New York to Baltimore crashed on the New Jersey Turnpike. Twelve members of the team ensemble were injured, including manager Buck Rodgers,[9] who was hospitalized and missed the next three months of the season.[10]

In 1993, the Angels had a new spring training camp in Tempe, Arizona after 31 previous seasons in Palm Springs Stadium in Palm Springs,[11] an idea Autry developed from the days when he stayed in his desert resort home. The Angels hoped a new facility would rejuvenate and improve the roster in the long run. The 1993 and 1994 seasons proved to be worse for the Angels than the previous three, particularly since the 1994 season ended in a baseball player strike that kept Angel fans waiting even longer for the team's fate to change.

1995: The Collapse

In 1995, the Angels suffered the worst collapse in franchise history. In first place in the AL West by 11 games in August, the team again lost key personnel (particularly shortstop Gary DiSarcina) and went on an extended slide during the final stretch run. By season's end, they were in a first-place tie with the surging Seattle Mariners, prompting a one-game playoff for the division title. The Mariners, managed by Lou Piniella and led by pitching ace Randy Johnson, laid a 9–1 drubbing on the Angels in the playoff game, clinching the AL West championship and forcing the Angels and their fans to endure yet another season of heartbreak and bitter disappointment.

The Disney era

Disney effectively took control of the Angels in 1996, when it was able to gain enough support on the board to hire Tony Tavares as team president. Gene Autry, however, remained as chairman until his death in 1998. In 1999, Tavares hired Bill Stoneman as team general manager, under whose watch the Angels eventually won their first World Series Championship.

Although Disney did not technically acquire a controlling interest in the team until after Autry's death, for all practical purposes it ran the team (the Autry loyalists on the board acted as "silent partners") through its Anaheim Sports subsidiary, which also owned the NHL's Mighty Ducks of Anaheim at the time.

Disney, of course, had been a catalyst for the development of and population growth in Orange County, having opened its Disneyland theme park in Anaheim in 1955. Autry had named Walt Disney himself to the Angels' board in 1960; Mr. Disney served on the board until his death in 1966, and had been one of the proponents of the team's move to Orange County in 1965-66. Walt Disney Pictures also produced the 1994 movie Angels in the Outfield, which featured a fictionalized version of the team.

Downsizing the stadium: "The Big Ed"

In 1995, the year of the Angels' worst regular season collapse, the Los Angeles Rams had moved to St. Louis, citing the deteriorating conditions at Anaheim Stadium as a primary cause for the move. Angels management, stuck in an aging, oversized "white elephant" of a stadium, hinted the team might be moved from Southern California as well.

In 1997, negotiations between the Angels and the city of Anaheim for renovation of Anaheim Stadium ended with an agreement to rehabilitate and downsize the facility into a baseball-only stadium once more. One condition of the stadium agreement was that the Angels could sell naming rights to the renovated stadium, so long as the new name was one "containing Anaheim therein." Anaheim Stadium was almost immediately renamed Edison International Field of Anaheim, though it was almost always referred to as simply Edison Field. Sportscasters also referred to the stadium at the time as The Big Ed, with a few others continuing to use the Big A nickname and, at times, Anaheim Stadium.

Downsizing the name: The Anaheim Angels

Another condition of the stadium renovation agreement was that the team name itself be one "containing Anaheim therein." The emerging Disney ownership was itself in the process of renovating and upgrading its aging Disneyland park. Disney hoped to market Anaheim as a "destination city", much the same way it had done with Orlando, Florida, where Walt Disney World was located. Accordingly, the team changed its name again, to the Anaheim Angels on November 19, 1996.

2002: Angels' first World Series title

The 2002 season began with the team scrapping its pinstriped vest jerseys after five years, reverting to uniforms conforming more to the team's traditional uniforms, but now mostly red, with a bit of navy blue trim. Significantly, the Angels' road jerseys now read "Anaheim", the first time the team's geographic location had been noted on its uniforms since 1965.

Pundits predicted the Angels to be third-place finishers in the four-team AL West division, and the team played to those expectations with a 6-14 start to the regular season. The Angels, managed by former Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Mike Scioscia, then went on to win 99 games and earn the American League wildcard berth. The Oakland Athletics won 103 games, putting the Angels in second place in the division. The Halos defeated the AL East champions New York Yankees three games to one in the American League Division Series, ending the Yankees' streak of 4 straight American League pennants, and the Minnesota Twins four games to one in the ALCS, to win the American League pennant for the first time in their history.

2002 World Series
Main article: 2002 World Series

In the 2002 World Series they met the Wildcard San Francisco Giants, paced by slugger Barry Bonds, in what ended up being the highest-scoring World Series of all time. San Francisco took Game 1 (4–3), but the Angels followed that up by winning Games 2 (11–10) and 3 (10–4). The Giants came back to win Games 4 (4–3) and 5 (16–4). The turning point in the series came in Game 6. The Angels trailed 5–0 and were eight outs away from elimination before rallying for 3 runs in both the seventh and eighth innings to win 6–5. The Angels then won Game 7, 4–1, to claim their franchise's first and only World Series championship.

Third baseman Troy Glaus was named the MVP of the Series. Twenty-year-old rookie relief pitcher Francisco Rodríguez won a record five postseason games, despite never having won a regular-season game before. Angel pitcher John Lackey became the first rookie pitcher to win the seventh game of the World Series in 93 years.

The 2000s: New owner, another new name

On May 15, 2003, Disney sold the Angels to Angels Baseball, L.P., a group headed by advertising magnate Arturo "Arte" Moreno. The sale made the Angels the first major American sports team to be owned by a Hispanic owner and also signaled the beginning of the end of Disney's involvement in professional sports. The company sold the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim hockey team two years later.

The stadium renamed: Angel Stadium of Anaheim

In December 2003, after a seven-year run as Edison International Field of Anaheim, Edison removed its name from the stadium. The stadium was renamed Angel Stadium of Anaheim, again almost always referred to as simply Angel Stadium or, The Big A, although the original name, Anaheim Stadium, is still used by many locals. The stadium is owned by the City of Anaheim, which has shown no compunction toward changing the name. Over the years, there have been few, if any, complaints from Anaheim officials about the dropping of "of Anaheim" from common parlance when referring to the stadium.

The team renamed: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

On January 3, 2005 Angels Baseball, L.P. announced that it would change the name of the club from Anaheim Angels to Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. As stated in the club's 2005 media guide:

The inclusion of Los Angeles reflects the original expansion name and returns the Angels as Major League Baseball's American League representative in the Greater Los Angeles territory.

The new name sparked outrage among Anaheim and Los Angeles city leaders, who argued that a team that does not play its home games within the city or county of Los Angeles should not claim to be from Los Angeles, even though the Los Angeles Rams played many years in Anaheim without incident. They also regarded the name a lingual farce, as the English "The Angels" was mixed with the Spanish "Los Angeles," especially in a region where Spanish is so heavily used. With the support of the city of Los Angeles, Disney, and every city in Orange County, the city of Anaheim sued the Angels, claiming the team violated its lease with the city. This also made the Angels the only team in MLB to play its home games outside of the city after which it is named.[12] The team countered that they were in full compliance with the lease, since the lease only stipulated that the team name contain "Anaheim", and the new name was well within the bounds of this stipulation. A jury trial, which concluded February 9, 2006 resulted in a verdict siding with the Angels and allowing the team to keep the new name.

Although organized fan resistance to the new name had subsided, legal challenges to restore the name Anaheim Angels went forward.[13][14][15] They were not successful, however, and on January 13, 2009, Anaheim mayor Curt Pringle announced that the city council had voted unanimously to drop the legal challenge.[16]

On official press releases, and on the team's website, the entire name "Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim" is used. In other contexts, the team uses simply "Angels" or "Angels Baseball." The team correctly anticipated that the national media and baseball fans outside of the Southern California media market would simply drop "of Anaheim" and refer to the team as the "Los Angeles Angels". When Major League Baseball uses location to identify a team, it refers to the Angels as "Los Angeles," as do MLB's member teams,[17] MLB video games like the MLB (Year#) series, and many sportscasters.

The Angels finished 77-85 in third place in 2003, 19 games behind A.L. West champions Oakland. They sent three players to the All-Star Game: Troy Glaus and Garret Anderson were in the starting lineup, while Brendan Donnelly was selected to be in the bullpen. Anderson won the All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award, as well as the Home Run Derby, and Donnelly picked up the win in the game.[18]

In 2004, newly acquired free-agent Vladimir Guerrero won the American League Most Valuable Player Award as he led the Angels to their first American League West championship since 1986. Also in 2004, the Angels mounted a comeback to overcome the division leading Oakland Athletics in the last week of the regular season, clinching the title in the next-to-last game. However, they were swept in the American League Division Series three games to zero by the AL Wild Card Boston Red Sox.[19]

In the 2005 season, the Angels became the first team in the American League to clinch their division, doing so with five games left in the regular season. It was also the first time the team had made the playoffs in back-to-back years. The Angels went on in 2005 to beat the AL East champions New York Yankees in the Division Series in five games, but lost in the American League Championship Series to the eventual World Series champions Chicago White Sox in five games. Pitcher Bartolo Colón, who went 21-8 for the season, was voted A.L. Cy Young Award winner in 2005, only the second Angel to be so honored (Dean Chance won the award in 1964).[20]

While the Angels did not reach the playoffs in 2006, several players met or broke individual records. Closer Francisco Rodriguez led the major leagues and broke a franchise record in saves with 47, and became the youngest closer to record 100 career saves. Scot Shields led American League setup men in holds with 31, and was second in the league in innings of relief pitched with 87.2 innings. Chone Figgins was second in the American League in stolen bases with 52. Jered Weaver tied Whitey Ford's American League rookie record by winning the first nine decisions of his career.[21]

The Angels finished in second place in the American League West for the 2006 season, missing the post-season for the first time since 2003. The 2006 campaign was the Angels' third straight season with a winning record, a first in club history.

In the 2007 season, the Angels were the first club in the major leagues to win fifty games while maintaining a lead in the American League West. Figgins set a club record for the most hits in a single month with 53, and became just the second Angel to go six-for-six in a single, nine-inning game. John Lackey was the first starter in the American League to win ten games. Lackey, along with Rodriguez and Guerrero, were chosen to represent the Angels at the 2007 All-Star Game. Guerrero became just the third Angel to win the Home Run Derby, and Rodriguez was the first to earn a save in an All-Star Game.

On August 21, Anderson set a new club record for most RBIs in one game with 10 against the New York Yankees. He also posted a new Angel record with eleven consecutive games with an RBI on September 6 after hitting a single off Indians pitcher Paul Byrd. On September 7, Anderson again posted a new Angel record with twelve consecutive games with an RBI single. The Angels won their sixth division title and seventh overall playoff berth in its history. The Angels were swept by the AL East champions Boston Red Sox in the ALDS. After the 2007 playoff campaign ended, general manager Bill Stoneman retired and was replaced by Tony Reagins.

The Angels had the best record in the American League (tied with the Chicago Cubs for best record in MLB) going into the All-Star Break. On July 20, closer Francisco Rodríguez accumulated 40 saves in 98 team games, becoming the fastest pitcher to accumulate 40 saves since John Smoltz did so in 108 team games in 2003. Rodríguez broke Bobby Thigpen's all-time record for saves in a season on September 13 in a game against the Seattle Mariners and eventually finished with 62 saves.[22]

On September 10, 2008 with a win over the New York Yankees and a loss by the Texas Rangers to the Seattle Mariners, the Angels clinched their seventh American League West Division title. By clinching on September 10, the Angels set a new mark for the earliest clinch date in American League West history.[23] They would finish the 2008 regular season setting a franchise record for wins at 100, breaking the previous club record of 99 wins set by the 2002 World Series championship team. For the second straight year, the Angels faced off against the Boston Red Sox (AL Wild Card) in the ALDS, but were unable to advance, losing the series three games to one.

Hours after pitching in a game, Nick Adenhart and two friends were killed in a hit-and-run crash. Adenhart's death caused the next day's game to be postponed, and the Angels' April 10 game against the Boston Red Sox became a tribute to Adenhart.

For the third straight year, the Angels faced the Red Sox (the AL Wild Card) in the ALDS. Despite being 0-4 in playoff series against the Red Sox and having lost 12 of the last 13 post-season games against them, the Angels swept the series 3-0. The Angels next faced the New York Yankees in the ALCS, but went on to lose the series four games to two.


Although the Angels stormed to a record of 18-9 in the month of June, the team posted three consecutive sub-.500 months from July to September. They ended the season with a record of 80-82, in third place and ten games behind the division champion (and eventually American League champion) Texas Rangers.

Main article: 2012 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim season

On December 10, 2011 the Angels had the biggest off-season acquisitions in the MLB by signing prized free agents Albert Pujols and C. J. Wilson within the same hour. The two big acquisitions were said to be made by Angels owner Arte Moreno instead of the general manager, who was thought of as funding the newly top paid team with the new 3 Billion dollar T.V. deal the angels made shortly after. Going into the 2012 season the Angels were picked as 8-1 favorites[by whom?] for World Series victors, trailing three other teams. Before the major off-season by the Angels they were picked as 16-1 favorites in the World Series. Despite having the biggest off-season acquisitions the Angels got off to a slow start of 8-15; the slowest start to an Angels season since 2002 when they won the world series. Many eyes were on the slow starting of Albert Pujols', in which April he batted below .220 with 0 home-runs. Many attributed the rest of the seasons success to the call-up of rookie All-Star Mike Trout who became the spark plug for the team batting over .350 most of the season. After Trout's call up the Angels had a drastic change in their record going from 7-15 .318 Win% to 38-20 .655 Win% over the next two months. Also in those two months Angels ace pitcher Jered Weaver would pitch the tenth no-hitter in the Angels MLB history. Despite such success after the first bad month, the Angels chased Texas in the division the whole season, and chased the two wild card spots the last month of the season, but were not able to retain a spot in the playoffs. Rookie sensation Mike Trout ended with one of the greatest rookie campaigns in baseball history with a .326 batting average, 30 home-runs, and led the League in 129 runs scored, and 49 stolen bases. Trout ended up with numerous awards for his effort which included Best Player of the Year by Baseball America, AL MVP by Beyond the Box Score, the official AL Rookie of the Year by BBWAA, and finished 2nd in the official BBWAA AL MVP award.[24][25][26]

The Angels played the first Opening Day Interleague Game in baseball's history on April 1, 2013. The Angels and Reds played in a 1-1 tie up to the top of the 13th inning when Chris Ianetta hit a two-RBI single. Ernesto Frieri close out the game for the win.

Team traditions

Each game begins with the song "Calling All Angels" by Train being played on the P.A.

The Angel Stadium of Anaheim has a section in center field nicknamed the "California Spectacular," a formation of artificial rocks made to look like a desert mountain in California. The California Spectacular has a running waterfall, geysers that shoot in the air, and also shoot fireworks from the rocks before every game; anytime the Angels hit a home run or win a game the fireworks shoot from the rocks as well.[27]

During the seventh inning stretch of every home game, the fans sing along to "Build Me Up Buttercup" by The Foundations.

Angel Stadium of Anaheim is nicknamed "The Big A."[27]

Anytime the Angels win a game, the saying "Light Up the Halo!" is used in reference to the giant landmark which is a big 230 foot tall A with a halo surrounding the top which lights up every time the Angels win a game.[27] Fans also use the saying, "Just another Halo victory," as the late Angels broadcaster Rory Markas, who would say the catch phrase after each win.

The Angels organization created "thunder sticks" when the team made the playoffs. Thunder sticks are now in use by many other sports teams.


The Angels have developed many rivalries in, and outside of their division. They include New York Yankees,[28] Boston Red Sox, Texas Rangers,[29] and Los Angeles Dodgers.

Red Sox - The rivalry between the Red Sox and Angels has developed in heated matchups in regular season and many playoff situations that regularly included fights, late inning rallies, and bad relations. The Red Sox and Angels rivalry dates back to Angels MLB franchise founder Gene Autry making a bet with former Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey that Autry's new expansion team would win more games than Yawkey's Red Sox. In 1964 Angels pitcher Bob Lee suffered a season-ending injury of a broken hand after trying to punch a Red Sox fan, which ultimately cost him an ERA title. In 1965 the first of many fights between the two clubs occurred when pitchers Dean Chance and Dave Morehead exchanged hit batters which caused a small 50 man free for all on the field that resulted in the bullpen fence at Dodger stadium being broken down and the riot squad being called. On August 17, 1967 Red Sox all-star outfielder Tony Conigliaro was beaned in the eye by a Jack Hamilton fastball, resulting in vision problems that caused him to miss the final month and a half of that Red Sox pennant winning season as well as the entire next season, and ultimately led to his early retirement.

The most famous Angels playoff collapse was versus the Red Sox in the 1986 ALCS. The Angels were leading Red Sox 3-1 in the series and leading by three runs with two out in the ninth inning and had two strikes on the batter when pitcher Donnie Moore gave up a 3 run home run, and the Red Sox went on to win that game and the next two to win the series. Red Sox followed that series with their own disappointing World Series loss to the New York Mets. Three years later, more personal tragedy struck when Angels pitcher Moore committed suicide. He was said to have not gotten over the "One strike away" game. In recent times, the Angels swept the Red Sox in the 2009 ALDS in Fenway; a devastating loss for Red Sox fans.[30][31]

Rangers - The Rangers and Angels rivalry has been said to develop over a domination in the division between the two teams, and also in recent years more animosity between the two teams due to the amount of former players from each team playing for the division rival. Angels players such as Mike Napoli, Darren Oliver, Vladimir Guerrero, and Texas Players C.J. Wilson and Josh Hamilton are all acquisitions the two division rivals made of former rival players. In 2012 former Texas pitcher CJ Wilson played a joke on former teammate and Mike Napoli in tweeting his phone number, causing Napoli to exchange words with Wilson.[32] The feuds go back to Angels Adam Kennedy and Rangers Gerald Laird arguing leading to punches being thrown multiple times causing small fights between the teams in the past.[33]

The two teams each had a perfect game against each other, including Mike Witt in 1984 at Arlington Stadium and Kenny Rogers in 1994 in The Ballpark in Arlington.

Yankees - The Angels and Yankees rivalry can be seen as stemmed through heated play between the two teams through the years, including several times in the playoffs. For the past 20 years the Angels are also the only team in the majors to have a winning record against the Yankees.[34] Coincidental enough, the former PCL Angels were nicknamed "Yankees West" due to the success the team had, and even held multiple scrimmage games between the two in the old Wrigley Field in Los Angeles during spring training throughout the 30s, 40s, and 50s.[35][36]

Dodgers - The rivalry with the Los Angeles Dodgers has been referred to as the Freeway Series because of the freeway system (mostly via I-5) linking the two teams' home grounds.[37] The Freeway Series rivalry developed mostly over the two teams sharing similar regions and fans having been split in LA similar to the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox "Windy City Showdown Rivalry" or the New York Mets and New York Yankees Subway series.

The Rally Monkey

The Rally Monkey is a mascot for the Angels which appears if the Angels are losing a game or if the game is tied during the 7th inning, but sometimes earlier depending on the situation. The Rally Monkey appears on the scoreboard in various movies or pop culture references that have been edited to include him.

The Rally Monkey was born in 2000 when the scoreboard showed a clip from Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, after which the Angels rallied to win the game. The clip proved to be so popular that the team hired Katie, a white-haired capuchin monkey, to star in original clips for later games. When seen, she jumps up and down to the House of Pain song "Jump Around" and holds a sign that says "RALLY TIME!"

The rally monkey came to national and worldwide attention during the Angels' appearance in the 2002 World Series, again against the San Francisco Giants. In the 6th game, the Angels were playing at home, but were trailing the series 3-2 and facing elimination. They were down 5-0 as the game entered the bottom of the 7th inning. Amid fervid rally-monkey themed fan support, the Angels proceeded to score six unanswered runs over the next two innings, winning the game and turning the momentum of the series for good (they went on to clinch the championship in game 7).[38]

From 2007 to 2009, the Angels reached the post-season each year, sparking a renewal of the rally monkey's popularity.[38]

Fan support

The many traditions at Angel Stadium i.e. (Rally Monkey, Break out the red, the big A), and fan made sites such as Halos Heaven, Halo Space, Rally Monkey,, Golden Halos, and Monkey with a Halo show the passion and support fans have for the Angels.[27][39]

The Angels have drawn 3 million plus fans to the stadium for Eleven years straight, and at least 2 million for 30 seasons, and a game average in 2010, 2011, 2012, & 2013 of 40,000 fans at each game despite not making the playoffs the past four years.[40] In 2011, the Angels had the fifth best home attendance in Major League Baseball, averaging 39,090 fans per game.[41]

In 2009, the Angels were voted the number one franchise in professional sports in Fan Value by ESPN magazine.[42] In 2011, ESPN & Fan polls by ESPN ranked the Angels #4 in the best sports franchises in all of sports, ahead of every Major League team in baseball at #1 and also making it the #1 sports franchise in Los Angeles. The rankings were determined through a combination of sports analysts and fan votes ranking all sports franchises by a combination of average fan attendance, fan relations, "Bang for your Buck" or winning percentage over the past 3 years, ownership, affordability, stadium experience, players effort on the field and likability, coaching, and "Title Track".

Logos and colors

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have used ten different logos and three different color combinations throughout their history. Their first two logos depict a baseball with wings and a halo over a baseball diamond with the letters "L" and "A" over it in different styles.  The original team colors were the predominately blue with a red trim. This color scheme would be in effect for most of the franchise's history lasting from 1961–1996.

In 1966, after the club's move to Anaheim, the team name changed from the "Los Angeles Angels" to the "California Angels," along with the name change, the logo changed as well. During the 31 years of being known as the "California Angels," the team kept the previous color scheme, however, their logo did change six times during this period. The first logo under this name was very similar to the previous "LA" logo, the only difference was instead of an interlocking "LA," there was an interlocking "CA." Directly after this from 1971–1985, the Angels adopted a logo that had the word "Angels" written on an outline of the State of California. Between the years 1971–1972 the "A" was lower-case while from 1973–1985 it was upper-case.

It was in 1965, while the stadium was being finished, that Bud Furillo (of the Herald Examiner) coined its nickname, "the Big A" after the tall letter A that once stood beyond left-center field and served as the arena's primary scoreboard (it was later relocated to a section of the parking lot, south-east of the stadium).

In 1986, the Angels adopted the "big A" on top of a baseball as their new logo, with the shadow of California in the background. After the "big A" was done in 1992, the Angels returned to their roots and re-adopted the interlocking "CA" logo with some differences. The Angels used this logo from 1993–1996, during that time, the "CA" was either on top of a blue circle or with nothing else.

After the renovations of then-Anaheim Stadium and the takeover by the Walt Disney Company, the Angels changed their name to the "Anaheim Angels" along with changing the logo and color scheme. The first logo under Disney removed the halo and had a rather cartoon-like "ANGELS" script with a wing on the "A" over a periwinkle plate and crossed bats. With this change, the Angels' color scheme changed to dark blue and periwinkle. After a run with the "winged" logo from 1997–2001, Disney changed the Angels's logo back to a "Big A" with a silver logo over a dark blue baseball diamond. WIth this logo change, the colors changed to the team's current color scheme: predominately red with some dark blue and white.

When the team's name changed from the "Anaheim Angels" to the "Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim," the logo changed only slightly, the name "ANAHEIM ANGELS" and the blue baseball diamond were removed leaving only the "big A."

For the 2011 season, as part of the 50th anniversary of the Angels franchise, the halo on the 'Big A' logo temporarily changed colors from silver to old gold, paying tribute to the Angels logos of the past. The uniforms also reflected the change to the gold halo for this season. During the 50th Anniversary season the players have worn throwback jerseys at each Friday home game reflecting all the different logos and uniforms previously worn by players. Also Angels alumni from past season during the 50th year throw out the first Angels pitch at every home game.

A new patch was added on the uniforms before the 2012 season, featuring a red circle encircling the words "Angels Baseball" and the club logo inside and flanking the year 1961 in the middle, which was the year the Angels franchise was established.

Radio and television

As of 2009, the Angels' flagship radio station is KLAA 830AM, which is owned by the Angels themselves. It replaces KSPN (710 ESPN), on which frequency had aired most Angels games since the team's inception in 1961. That station, then KMPC, aired games from 1961 to 1996. In 1997 & 1998, the flagship station became KRLA (1110AM). In 1999, it was replaced by KLAC for four seasons, including the 2002 World Series season.

The Angels 2010 broadcast line-up was thrown into doubt with the death of Rory Markas in January 2010. The Angels had announced in November 2009 that Markas and Mark Gubicza would broadcast Angels' televised games, with Terry Smith and José Mota handling the radio side.[43] At the same time, the Angels announced that Steve Physioc and Rex Hudler would not return to the broadcasting team. On March 3, 2010 it was announced that Victor Rojas will replace Markas.[44]

In 2008, KLAA broadcast spring training games on tape delay from the beginning on February 28 to March 9 because of advertiser commitments to some daytime talk shows. Those games were available live only online. Live preseason broadcasts were to begin on March 10.[45]

In 2009, KFWB 980AM started broadcasting 110 weekday games, including postseason games, to better reach listeners in Los Angeles County and other areas to the north.[46] All 162 games plus post season games still air on KLAA.

In 2010, KSPN 710AM will broadcast at least 60 weekday games. This will be a partial return to their old station from 2007.[47]

Angels radio broadcasts are also in Spanish on KWKW 1330AM and KWKU 1220AM.

Fox Sports West holds the exclusive rights to the regional telecasts of approximately 150 Angels home and away games.[48] Fox owned and operated MyNetworkTV affiliate KCOP broadcast select games from 2006 to 2011, but opted to move those games to Fox Sports West in 2012. Select national Angels telecasts can be found on Fox, ESPN, TBS or MLB Network.

During the 2009 season, Physioc and Hudler called about 100 games, while Markas and Gubicza had the remaining game telecasts (about 50, depending on ESPN and Fox exclusive national schedules). The split arrangement dated back to the 2007 season, when Mota and Gubicza were the second team. Markas debuted on TV in a three-game series at the Toronto Blue Jays in August 2007.

Mota, who is bilingual and the son of former Dodger Manny Mota, has also called Angels games in Spanish, and at one time did analysis from the dugout rather than the usual booth position.

All games are produced by FSN regardless of the outlet actually showing the games.

Dick Enberg, who broadcast Angels baseball in the 1970s, is the broadcaster most identified with the Angels, using such phrases as "Oh, my!", "Touch 'em all!" after Angel home runs, and "The halo shines tonight!".

Other former Angels broadcasters over the past three decades include Dave Niehaus, Don Drysdale, Bob Starr, Joe Torre, Paul Olden, Al Wisk, Al Conin, Mario Impemba, Sparky Anderson, Jerry Reuss, Ken Wilson, Ken Brett, and Ron Fairly. Jerry Coleman also spent time with the Angels organization in the early-1970s as a pre-game and post-game host before joining the San Diego Padres broadcast team.

From 1994 until the end of the 2012 season, the public address announcer for most Angels home games was David Courtney, who also has held also the public address announcer for the Los Angeles Kings and Los Angeles Clippers and a traffic reporter for Angels flagship KLAA 830 AM until his death on November 29, 2012,[49] but when there is a scheduling conflict with Kings, Clippers, and Angels home games, Phil Hulett is the secondary public address announcer. Starting in the 2013 season, Michael Araujo is the public address announcer while Phil Hulett will continue to serve as the secondary public address announcer.


Parent company Disney remade the 1951 film Angels in the Outfield in 1994 with the California Angels as the team that receives heavenly assistance. The team is also featured in the 1988 comedy film The Naked Gun. The 1990 comedy Taking Care of Business features a world series matchup between the Chicago Cubs and the California Angels. The 1991 movie Talent for the Game features Edward James Olmos as a baseball scout for the California Angels.

Season records

Awards and honors

Retired numbers

SS: 1961–71
Manager: 1978–81
Retired August 1, 1998

Team Founder

Retired October 3, 1982

1B: 1979–85
Coach: 1992–99
Retired August 6, 1991

P: 1972-79

Retired June 16, 1992

Retired by
Retired April 15, 1997

Coach: 1972–94

Retired August 2, 1995

  • #26 was retired for Gene Autry to indicate he was the team's "26th Man" (25 is the player limit for any MLB team's active roster, except in September)
  • #42 was retired throughout Major League Baseball in 1997 to honor Jackie Robinson.
  • Although Not Retired #15 has been out of Circulation since Tim Salmon's Retirement at the end of the 2006 Season & #34 has been out of Circulation since Nick Adenhart's untimely death in 2009.

Angels Hall of Fame

The Angels have a team Hall of Fame,[50] with the following members:

Player Bobby Grich Jim Fregosi Don Baylor Rod Carew Nolan Ryan Jimmie Reese Brian Downing Chuck Finley Gene Autry 2002 World Series Team
Year Inducted 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1995 2009 2009 2011 2012

Baseball Hall of Fame

As of the 2011 Hall of Fame election, no inducted members have elected to be depicted wearing an Angels cap on their plaque. However, several Hall of Famers have spent part of their careers with the Angels:[51]

Ford C. Frick Award recipients

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Ford C. Frick Award recipients
Affiliation according to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum

Jerry Coleman

Joe Garagiola

Names in bold received the award based primarily on their work as broadcasters for the Angels.

Current roster

40-man roster Non-roster invitees Coaches/Other







39 active, 0 inactive, 0 non-roster invitees

7- or 15-day disabled list
* Not on active roster
Suspended list
NRIs updated October 31, 2013
TransactionsDepth Chart
All MLB rosters

Minor league affiliations

Level Team League Location
AAA Salt Lake Bees Pacific Coast League Salt Lake City, UT
AA Arkansas Travelers Texas League North Little Rock, AR
Advanced A Inland Empire 66ers California League San Bernardino, CA
A Burlington Bees[52] Midwest League[52] Burlington, IA[52]
Rookie Orem Owlz Pioneer League Orem, UT
AZL Angels Arizona League Tempe, AZ
DSL Angels Dominican Summer League San Pedro de Macorís, Dominican Republic

Historic minor league farm teams (with partial affiliation contracts) of the Angels system in the state of California were: The triple-A San Diego Padres later the Hawaii Islanders, and the class-AAA/class-A Long Beach Angels whom became the Seattle Angels, Salinas Angels (1972–75), Santa Clara Angels (1976–79), Redwood Pioneers of Sonoma County (1980–85), Palm Springs Angels (1986–93), Lake Elsinore Storm (1994-2001/05) and Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (2002/06-11).


Further reading

  • Bisheff, Steve. Tales from the Angels Dugout: The Championship Season and Other Great Angels Stories. Sports Publishing L.L.C., 2003. ISBN 1-58261-685-X.
  • 2005 Angels Information Guide.

External links

  • Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim official website
  • Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
  • Twitter
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