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:
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:
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: