At this very moment, Mike Trout and Erick Aybar are taking in all the 2014 All-Star game has to offer.
Trout is probably jawing it up with Derek Jeter while Aybar jokes around with his Dominican counterparts. Either way, it’s a welcomed sight to Los Angeles Angels fans.
Major League Baseball’s annual star studded affair brings the best of the best together, even if the Halos aren’t always well-represented (ask Garrett Richards about that). Still, the last quarter century has brought great midsummer classic moments, many because of Angels players.
Let’s take a look at the greatest Angels All-Star moments over the last 25 years.
Garret Anderson wins 2003 Home Run Derby and All-Star MVP award
Regardless of his lackadaisical demeanor, Garret Anderson was a power threat. He averaged 30 home runs and 120 RBIs from 2000-03, which makes his 2003 All-Star week showing impressive to anyone outside of Anaheim.
Anderson won the Home Run Derby by defeating former Angel Jim Edmonds in the semifinal and future Halo first baseman Albert Pujols in the final. It was close but he narrowly beat “the Machine,” 9-8.
The next night, Anderson went 3-for-4 with a double and a two-run homer to pull the AL within two runs. They won a seventh straight contest and Anderson was named MVP.
He became the first place since Cal Ripken Jr. in 1991 to receive both awards.
Jered Weaver first Angels starter in 18 years
Not since Mark Langston in 1993 had an Angel started the midsummer classic. Even then, it didn’t go well (Langston allowed two runs over two innings). In 2011, Jered Weaver became the first halo to do so, facing off against sure-fire Hall of Famer Roy Halladay.
Weaver reached six wins by April 25, 2011, setting a major league record for faster pitcher to do so. Through the All-Star break he held a glistening 1.86 ERA and 0.91 WHIP while striking out 120 batters.
He proved his worth-albeit in a limited capacity- striking out Carlos Beltran and forcing Prince Fielder to line out. It was Weaver’s sole inning in a 5-1 NL victory.
Mike Trout singles in first career All-Star at-bat
This gets an honorable mention solely for the hype surrounding Trout’s first All-Star game. His exclusion from the 2011 game drew ire from those wanting to see if he was the real deal. Trout proved it in 2012.
The Halo centerfielder singled up the middle in his sole at-bat, subsequently stealing second on knuckleballer R.A. Dickey. An inning later, he forced a full-count walk from flame-throwing righty Aroldis Chapman.
It wasn’t a spectacular day for Trout, but one that show what he’s capable of.
Vladimir Guerrero takes Brad Penny deep
Vladimir Guerrero as Anaheim’s first MVP-caliber hitter since Reggie Jackson in the mid-80s. He proved it with multiple Sliver Slugger awards and the AL MVP in 2004.
Thanks to former Dodgers right-hander Brad Penny in 2006, Guerrero gave Halo fans an All-Star memory as well.
Guerrero took Penny’s second pitch the opposite way, narrowly clearing PNC Park’s right field fence. It proved pivotal as the AL squeaked out a 3-2 win. It was Guerrero’s second of four consecutive appearances as an Angel.
Troy Percival makes four career appearances
From Chuck Finley to Howie Kendrick, numerous players have represented the Halos in July’s annual game. None, however, have as many appearances over the last 25 years as Troy Percival.
‘The Bull’ was selected to All-Star games in 1996, 1998-99, and again in 2001. Granted, he wasn’t on the strongest Angels teams and was often picked by default, but Percival proved why he would become one of MLB’s all-times saves leaders.
Percival earned a career-high 42 saves in 1998 on his way to a second All-Star selection. He pitched a near-perfect ninth, striking out Dante Bichette and Moises Alou en route to an AL victory at hitter-friendly Coors Field. It was the closes Percival ever came to a save.