The Fun-Time Baseball Hall: Cal/Ana/LA Angels

Some housekeeping before the candidates are presented.

First, for the Angels, try to vote for at least 6 and no more than 8. Based on the Fun-Time Baseball Hall's rules (see at the bottom of this post), four Angels will win first-year induction.

Second, Vladimir Guerrero will not be eligible until next year based on our Hall's requirement that a player must be three seasons removed from suiting up for the team in question. A couple of borderline candidates did not make the first-year ballot. Don Baylor won the AL MVP as an Angel and surely will be up for a vote in Year Two. Mike Witt threw a perfect game with the club and had some solid counting stats.

Third, when voting, please keep in mind a player's body of work for the team featured. It's your call whether longevity for a team and counting stats is a key deciding factor or if you prefer judging a player's overall impact on the franchise, if even made in a relatively short time.

Jim Abbott (P)

Pitched for the Angels from 1989-92, 1995-96. Also pitched for the Yankees, White Sox and Brewers through 1999.
  • Joined Angels starting rotation as a rookie without playing a major league game. He went 12-12 with a 3.92 ERA, finishing fifth in the AL Rookie of the Year voting.
  • Abbott won 18 games in 1991, with an ERA of 2.89, finishing third in the AL Cy Young race.
  • In 1992, had a 2.77 ERA, but record fell to 7-15.
  • Pitched a no-hitter in 1993 with the Yankees.
  • Born without a right hand. After releasing the ball, he would quickly slip his hand into the glove, ready to field. He then would remove the glove by securing it between his right forearm and torso, slip his hand out of the glove, and remove the ball from the glove, usually in time to throw out the runner and often even start double plays. Teams throughout his baseball career tried to exploit his fielding disadvantage by repeatedly bunting to him; a tactic was never effective.
  • Won the Tony Conigliaro Award (1992) given annually by the Red Sox to a player who overcomes an obstacle and adversity through the "attributes of spirit, determination and courage."
Angels totals: 54-74, 4.07 ERA, 1,073 IPs, 607 strikeouts
Career totals: 87-108, 4.25 ERA, 1,674 IPs, 888 strikeouts

Garret Anderson (OF)
Played most of his career (1994-2008) with the Angels (appearing with the team under all three of its recent names - California/Anaheim/Los Angeles).
  • Played with Braves (2009) and Dodgers (2010).
  • Due to longevity, Angels' franchise leader in GPs, ABs, hits, total bases, singles, doubles, grand slams, extra-base hits, career RBIs, single-game RBIs, and consecutive games (12) with an RBI. Classic "counting stats vs. rate stats" case.
  • Three-time All-Star (2002, 2003, 2005). 2003 All-Star Game MVP (Potch was there!). 2003 Home Run Derby Winner.
  • World Series champion (2002). Hit a key bases-clearing double in Game 7.
  • Two-time Silver Slugger Award winner (2002-03)
  • In 2002, finished fourth in AL MVP voting after hitting .306, 29 home runs, 123 RBIs. Scored career-high 93 runs. Never scored 100 or more in a season, hinting at his main weakness as a player: an inability to take walks and thus a low OBP.
  • On August 21, 2007, he drove in a team-record 10 runs, including a grand slam and a three-run homer, in an 18-9 win over the Yankees. He became the 13th player in history to have 10 RBIs in a game.
  • Began experiencing chronic ailments, including arthritis and plantar fasciitis in his feet, in 2004 that limited his playing time/production.
Angels' totals: .296, 272 home runs, 2,368 hits, 1,292 RBIs, 1,024 runs
Career totals: .293, 287 home runs, 2,529 hits, 1,365 RBIs, 1,084 runs

Bob Boone (C)
Catcher for California Angels from 1982-88, considered crucial factor in team's division titles (1982, 1986). Caught for Phillies (1972-81) and Royals (1989-90).
  • Considered one of top defensive catchers of his era.
  • Won seven Gold Glove awards, including four during his Angels' years - 1982, 1986-1988).
  • Caught 2,225 games in a 19-year career, a record which was later broken by Carlton Fisk.
  • Four-time All-Star, including one season with Angels (1976, 1978-79, 1983).
  • World Series Champion with Phillies (1980)
Angels totals: .245, 39 home runs, 318 RBIs
Career totals: .254, 105 home runs, 826 RBIs

Rod Carew (1B/2B)
Played for the California Angels from 1979-85. Played for the Minnesota Twins from 1967-78. Had seven good seasons in California after a phenomenal run in Minnesota.
  • 18-time All-Star - every year of his career except his last. With Twins won the AL MVP (1977); AL Rookie of the Year (1967). A second basemen until late 1975, Carew moved to first base for his final 10 years in the league. In 1991, Carew became only the 23rd player elected to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. 
  • Achieved greatest success, by far, as a Twin. In 12 seasons, had 200 or more hits four times and batted .334. Finished top 10 in AL MVP voting six times. Won 7 batting titles.
  • In 7 seasons as an Angel, highest hit total was 179 and batted .314. Hit better than .300 five times. Highest MVP voting was 26th. Did not win a batting title in California. After 8 straight years in Minnesota playing 140 or more games, his totals in California were: 110, 144, 93, 138, 129, 93, 127.
  • As a Twin, Carew won the AL batting title in 1972 (.318) without hitting a single home run. Carew batted .388 in 1977 (his MVP season), the highest since Ted Williams hit .406 in 1941.
Minnesota totals: .334, 74 home runs, 733 RBIs, 950 runs, 271 SBs.
California totals: .314, 18 home runs, 282 RBIs, 474 runs, 82 SBs.
Career: .328, 3,053 hits, 1,015 RBIs, 1,424 runs scored, 353 SBs.

Dean Chance (P)
Pitched for Angels from 1961-66. Pitched for Twins, Indians, Mets, Tigers from 1967-71.
  • First Angels ace in the '60s, throwing 11 shutouts with a 1.65 ERA in 1964. Won the team’s first Cy Young Award that year.
  • Two-time All-Star (1964, 1967). Cy Young winner (1964), AL Comeback Player of Year (1967).
  • Chance won 14 games with an ERA of 2.96 during rookie season (1962) and finished tied for third in AL Rookie of the Year voting. That year, Chance and fellow phenom Bo Belinsky would team on both the mound and in the Hollywood social circles, much to the chagrin of Angels' management and front office.
  • After 1964 Cy Young season, Chance would go 15–10 (1965) and 12–17 record (1966), despite an ERA of 3.08. He was sent to Minnesota after that season and won 20 games in 1967. Career fell off quickly after 1968 season after suffering a back injury.
  • Had habit of never looking at home plate once he received the sign from his catcher. He would turn his back fully towards the hitter in mid-windup before spinning and unleashing a good fastball, sinker, or sidearm curveball.
Angels' totals: 74-66, 2.83 ERA, 1,236 IP, 857 Ks, 1.266 WHIP
Career totals: 128-115, 2.92 ERA, 2,147 IP, 1,534 Ks, 1.212 WHIP

Brian Downing (C/OF) 

Played for the Angels from 1978-90 after starting career with White Sox (1973-77) and ending with Rangers (1991-92).
  • His 1978 season was uninspiring (.255, 7 HR, 46 RBI), much like his years with the White Sox. But, in 1979, after weight training in the previous offseason, and changing his batting stance, he hit .326 (third in AL), 12 home runs, 75 RBIs, 81 runs.
  • All-Star (1979)
  • Best power-hitting seasons came in 1982 when he hit .281, 28 home runs, 84 RBIs, 109 runs; and 1987 when he hit .272, 29 home runs, 95 RBIs, 110 runs and an AL leading 106 walks.
  • A broken ankle in 1980 forced him to move from catcher to OF beginning in 1981 because his offense was so valuable. While his range was not great, he played the entire 1982 season without making an error. He hit 20+ home runs in six of the seven seasons (all with the Angels) from 1982-88. Hit 19 in the off year (1983).
  • When he played his last game for the Angels after 13 seasons, he was team's career leader in games, ABs, runs, hits, total bases, doubles, home runs, RBIs, and walks.
  • Trivia: In 1985 Downing played himself when Louise Jefferson snuck into the Angels' locker-room looking for Reggie Jackson in an episode of "The Jeffersons."
Angels' totals: .271, 222 home runs, 846 RBIs, 889 runs, 866 walks
Career totals: .267, 275 home runs, 1,073 RBIs, 1,188 runs, 1,197 walks

Chuck Finley (P)
Pitched for the Angels from 1986-1999. Pitched 2000-02 for the Indians and Cardinals.
  • Won more than 15 games six times.
  • Best season (1990): 18-9, 2.40 ERA - the lowest ERA by an Angel lefthander since Frank Tanana's 2.43 in 1976.
  • Holds all-time Angels' record for wins (165). And losses (140). Also IPs and GS.
  • Five-time All-Star (1989-90, 1995-96, 2000)
  • While he never won a Cy Young, he was twice second in the league in ERA. He is the only player to have multiple four-strikeout innings, with three total (twice as an Angel). This was due to a top split-finger pitch as his strikeout weapon. The pitch would often end up in the dirt, eluding both batter and catcher.
Angels totals: 165-140, 3.72 ERA, 1.369 WHIP, 2,675 IPs, 2,151 strikeouts
Career totals: 200-173, 3.85 ERA, 1.376 WHIP, 3,197 IPs, 2,610 strikeouts

Jim Fregosi (SS/1B/3B) 
Angel shortstop for the first 11 years of their existence, until 1971.
  • Regarded as the league's top-hitting shortstop, leading the AL in triples (13) in 1968, and was named an All-Star every season from 1966 to 1970.
  • Managed Angels to first divisional title in 1979. 
  • Played for Mets, Rangers and Pirates from 1972-78. Career trailed off drastically after being dealt from Angels due to injuries.
  • Six-time All-Star with Angels (1964, 1966-70)
  • Gold Glove winner (1967). Seventh in AL MVP voting (1967).
  • Rated by Bill James as the 15th best SS in MLB history.
  • Led AL in double plays twice. When he left Angels, ranked ninth in AL history with 818 double plays.
  • Holds franchise record for triples (70). Several of his other team records - career games (1,429), hits (1,408), doubles (219), runs (691) and RBIs (546) - were broken by Brian Downing between 1986-89.
  • On July 28, 1964, first Angel to hit for cycle, and did so again on May 20, 1968.
  • Sidelined during 1971 season when tumor was discovered in his foot. The Angels traded him to the Mets that December in a deal that brought Nolan Ryan to California. (Fregosi would later manage Ryan in 1978 and 1979, Ryan's last two years as an Angel.)

    Angels totals: .268, 1,408 hits, 115 home runs, 691 runs, 546 RBIs, 70 triples, 219 doubles, 71 SBs.
    Career totals: .265, 1,726 hits, 151 home runs, 844 runs, 706 RBIs, 78 triples, 76 SBs.

Bobby Grich (2B)

Played for the California Angels from 1977-86. Played for the Baltimore Orioles from 1970-76. Solidified the 2B position in California and considered one of the biggest factors in the team reaching respectability during that period.
  • Six-time All-Star ('72, '74, '76, 1979-80, '82).
  • Four-time Gold Glove (1973-76)
  • Twice Top 10 MVP (1974, 1979)
  • First second baseman to lead AL in home runs since Nap Lajoie (1901) and in either league since Rogers Hornsby (1929).
  • First player elected to Angels' Hall of Fame (1996)
  • In 1979, Grich hit .294, 30 home runs, 101 RBIs. Had his best hitting season in strike-shortened 1981 when he tied league lead in home runs (22), led in slugging average (.543) and hit career high (.304).
  • Widely considered excellent fielder with good range, soft hands and a solid arm. With Baltimore in 1973, he set an all-time fielding record (.995 percentage) and 12 seasons later (in 1985 with Angels) he broke the record again (.997).
Angels' totals: .269, 154 home runs, 557 RBIs, 601, runs, 1,103 hits.
Career totals: .266, 224 home runs, 864 RBIs, 1,033 runs, 1,833 hits.

Wally Joyner (1B)

Wally Joyner played for the California Angels from 1986-91 and returned with the then-Anaheim Angels in 2001. In between, from 1991-2000, he played for the Royals, Padres and Braves.
  • All-Star selection (1986). Voted starting 1B for the game, becoming the first rookie to be selected by fans. He never made another All-Star game.
  • Home Run Derby co-winner (1986)
  • Joyner and the Angels advanced to the 1986 ALCS, where they came within one strike of the franchise's first World Series.
  • Was the runner-up in the voting for Rookie of the Year (1986), losing to Jose Canseco.g65≈ß
  • He was a member of the pennant-winning 1998 San Diego Padres.
  • Angels totals: .286, 117 home runs, 532 RBIs
  • Career totals: .289, 204 home runs, 1,106 RBIs

Troy Percival (RP)

Pitched for the California/Anaheim Angels from 1995-2004. Then with Detroit, St. Louis and Tampa Bay through 2009.
  • Four-time All-Star (1996, 1998, 1999, 2001).
  • World Series champion (2002). Top closer on team.
  • His 355 saves put him at 8th on MLB all-time list.
  • He became the regular closer for the Angels (1996) and had 36 saves with 100 strikeouts in 74 innings.
  • He had a career-high 42 saves in 1998, and enjoyed his best season in 2002 with a 4-1 record, 40 saves, 68 strikeouts, and a 1.92 ERA.
  • Suffered serious arm injury in 2005 and missed 2006.
  • Angels totals (10 seasons): 316 saves, 29-38, 2.99 ERA, 1.101 WHIP, 586.2 IPs, 680 strikeouts
  • Career totals: 358 saves, 35-43, 3.17 ERA, 1.108 WHIP, 708.2 IPs, 781 strikeouts.

Francisco Rodriguez (RP)

Pitched for the Angels from 2002-08. Has since pitched for the Mets and Brewers (active).
  • Four-time All-Star (2004, 2007, 2008, 2009).
  • World Series Champion (2002)
  • Three-time AL saves champion with Angels (2005, 2006, 2008)
  • Two-time Rolaids Relief Man of the Year (2006, 2008)
  • Holds MLB record for most saves (62) in a season (2008)
  • MLB.com Setup Man of the Year (2004)
  • Became full-time closer in 2005 when incumbent Troy Percival left as a free agent. Saved 45 games that year followed by 47, 40 and 62. In 2006, became the youngest closer in history (age 24) to accumulate 100 career saves.
  • Since leaving Angels, save totals have fallen to 35, 25, 23.
  • Angels totals (7 seasons): 208 saves, 23-17, 2.35 ERA, 1.114 WHIP, 451 IP, 587 strikeouts
  • Career totals: 291 saves, 36-27, 2.51 ERA, 1.158 WHIP, 648 IP, 806 strikeouts

Nolan Ryan (P)

Pitched for the Angels from 1972-79. Corresponding K totals (329, 383, 367, 186, 327, 341, 260, 223).
  • Threw four no-hitters as an Angel. Seven for his career (three more than anyone in history).
  • 5,714 career strikeouts (MLB record)
  • Eight-time All-Star (1972-73, 1975, 1977, 1979, 1981, 1985, 1989).
  • World Series champion (1969): Ryan saved Game 3 as a New York Met, pitching 2.1 shutout innings against the Orioles. The Game 3 win gave the Mets a 2–1 lead in the Series, which they went on to win in five games. It would be Ryan's only World Series appearance.
  • MLB All-Century team
  • Led the league in Ks 7 of 8 seasons while in California but also led the league in walks in six of those years, and finished second the other two seasons. Aside from Bob Feller in 1938, Ryan is the only man since 1900 to walk 200 batters in a season, which he did twice during his Angels' years.
  • Ranks high on the list for four "negative" records: first all-time in walks allowed (2,795), first in wild pitches (277), third in losses (292—most in the post-1920 live-ball era), and ninth in hit batters (158).
  • Traded from Mets in 1971 in a deal bringing Jim Fregosi to the Mets. Fregosi had been an All-Star in six of seven seasons. The deal was not controversial at the time.
  • Ryan had a league-leading 329 Ks in his first season with the Angels, nearly a third more than the runnerup, and to that point, the fourth-highest total of the 20th century. Within five seasons, it would only be Ryan's fourth-highest K total. He also set a still-standing Major League record by allowing only 5.26 hits per nine innings, and posted a 2.28 ERA, to date the second-lowest in franchise history, trailing only Dean Chance's 1.65 in 1964. 
  • Angels' totals: 138-121, 2,181 IPs, 2,416 strikeouts, 3.07 ERA, 1.294 WHIP
  • Career totals: 324-292, 5,386 IPs, 5,714 strikeouts, 3.19 ERA, 1,247 WHIP

Tim Salmon (OF)
Played entire career (1992-2004, 2006) with Angels. Known as King Fish and Mr. Angel.
  • Held status as one of the AL's elite power-hitting OFs throughout the decade. He finished seventh in MVP voting for the first time in 1995, when he finished third in AL with a .330 average, 34 home runs, 105, RBIs and posted an OPS above 1.000. Seventh in MVP voting again in 1997 (.296, 33 home runs, 129 RBIs.)
  • AL Rookie of the Year (1993)
  • Silver Slugger award (1995)
  • World Series champion (2002): Crucial part of the team's playoff and World Series run, hitting two key home runs in Game 2 of the World Series against the Giants and batting .346 with a 1.067 OPS in the series overall.
  • AL Comeback Player of the Year (2002) after career lows in 2001.
  • Despite franchise record for home runs (299) and finishing with more than 1,000 RBIs, he was never selected an All-Star. Career HR total is the highest for any player (who played most of his career after the first All-Star game in 1933) to have never been selected to appear in an All-Star game.
  • From 1993 to 2000 he only had two OPS lines below .900 and he never finished below .860.
  • Career totals: .282, 299 home runs, 1,016 RBIs, 986 runs scored.

Frank Tanana (P)

Pitched for Angels from 1973-80. Pitched 13 more seasons with the Red Sox, Rangers, Tigers, Mets and Yankees.
  • Appeared in three consecutive All-Star games with Angels from 1976-78.
  • With Angels, led league in strikeouts (269) in 1975, ERA (2.54) and shutouts (7) in 1977. Had 34 career shutouts, 4,000 IPs and nearly 3,000 strikeouts.
  • On June 21, 1975, Tanana struck out 17 batters.
  • TSN AL Rookie Pitcher of the Year in 1974. Notched the first of three straight 200-strikeout seasons in 1975.
  • Was known for a 100 MPH fastball, which he abruptly lost when he injured his arm at age 25 in 1979. He then developed several off-speed pitches (including a superb curveball) to extend his career as a successful junk-baller - and became a mainstay of the Tigers rotation from 1985-92.
  • Angels totals: 102-78, 3.08 ERA, 1,615 IP, 1,233 Ks, 1.166 WHIP
  • Career totals: 233-221, 3.62 ERA, 4,005 IP, 2,669 Ks, 1.266 WHIP
  • Trivia: Tanana is one of two pitchers (along with Rick Reuschel) to have given up a home run to both Hank Aaron and Barry Bonds.

First-year balloting will differ from subsequent years, when percentage voting will come into play.

  • For teams in existence since 1920 or before, 7 players - the top vote-getters - will win first-ballot induction.
  • For teams established between 1921-1940, 6 players will win first-ballot induction.
  • For teams established between 1941-1960, 5 players will win first-ballot induction. 
  • For teams established between 1961-1975, 4 players will win first-ballot induction.
  • For teams established between 1976-1990, 3 players will be inducted. 
  • For newer expansion teams, the ballots will be grouped and the top three from all of these teams will be inducted.
  • Roughly one year after a team(s) is featured, a second ballot will be held. 
  • Four more players will enter the Hall for each team in existence since 1940 or before. Three more for teams established between 1941 and 1975. Two more for teams established after 1976. One more total for the combined newer expansion teams.* 
  • * I intend to fully adhere to these rules but I possibly will add a percentage requirement also for second-year induction, which I know for sure I'll implement in subsequent years.


    1. Didn't realize Anderson had such a solid career... he definitely gets the nod.

    2. Downing and Fregosi have got to be shoo-ins

    3. Fuji: Yeah, Anderson had a nice career for that team, no doubt.

      Jeff: Indeed!

      And, voting for the first installment (Tigers) went how I expected but this one is all over the map so far. Should be interesting (for me at least) to see how it turns out.


    Search Me *shrugs*