1982 Fleer #461 Bobby Grich - I love '82 Fleer. The photos were quite unusual, and this one is no exception, showing Grich about to enter his stride. I also love the shot of the other photographer sitting in the background

Just to be clear, this poll includes all iterations of the Angels franchise, including the Anaheim Angels, California Angels, and Los Angeles Angels dating back to 1961.

This team had a couple of long post-season droughts from 1961 to 1978 and from 1987 to 2001. In 2002 they broke through and won the World Series, part of a string of 6 playoff appearances in 8 years. Lately, though, they’ve been playing second fiddle to the other 1961 expansion team, the Texas Rangers (whom we’ll look at next.)

Before you click through, see if you can guess who the all-time team leader in WAR is…hint: it’s a pitcher.

Here are the Angels’ leaders in WAR among batters:

Rk Player WAR/pos From To
1 Jim Fregosi 43.3 1961 1971
2 Tim Salmon 37.1 1992 2006
3 Brian Downing 35.3 1978 1990
4 Bobby Grich 32.9 1977 1986
5 Darin Erstad 30.4 1996 2006
6 Garret Anderson 23.7 1994 2008
7 Chone Figgins 21.0 2002 2009
8 Vladimir Guerrero 21.0 2004 2009
9 Troy Glaus 20.7 1998 2004
10 Jim Edmonds 19.1 1993 1999
11 Doug DeCinces 17.5 1982 1987
12 Wally Joyner 17.4 1986 2001
13 Rod Carew 16.2 1979 1985
14 Adam Kennedy 16.1 2000 2006
15 Torii Hunter 15.2 2008 2012
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/29/2012.

Fregosi’s probably not the first guy you thought of…Tim Salmon, Darren Erstad, and Garret Anderson are really the only guys here who played most or all of their careers with the Angels. The vast majority of the rest of these leaders had a lot of success elsewhere.

Let’s take a look at pitchers:

Rk Player WAR From To
1 Chuck Finley 48.7 1986 1999
2 Nolan Ryan 37.6 1972 1979
3 Frank Tanana 32.5 1973 1980
4 Jered Weaver 25.6 2006 2012
5 Mark Langston 24.4 1990 1997
6 John Lackey 22.9 2002 2009
7 Mike Witt 19.6 1981 1990
8 Dean Chance 19.1 1961 1966
9 Jarrod Washburn 18.7 1998 2005
10 Troy Percival 16.2 1995 2004
11 Francisco Rodriguez 15.5 2002 2008
12 Andy Messersmith 13.6 1968 1972
13 Kirk McCaskill 13.3 1985 1991
14 Kelvim Escobar 13.3 2004 2009
15 Jim Abbott 12.9 1989 1996
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/29/2012.

There’s your franchise leader–Chuck Finley. It’s just a shame that he wasn’t around when the Angels won the championship, or else he’d get the first spot on the monument.

We’ve got to consider Mike Scioscia as well–the manager during the team’s best run. Scott Spiezio also comes to mind for his contributions to the 2002 run.

Please vote for 4:

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