All-Angels Team – Starting Pitcher

By Brian Helberg
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Honorable Mention: Mel Clark (Angels in the Outfield [1994] Fictional Character)

Mel Clark was a rising star in Cincinnati while playing for the Reds in the 1980’s, but his career was derailed after developing a problem with painkillers. Luckily, Clark found religion and battled his way out of addiction. Clark was acquired by the Angels sometime in the early 90’s, but did not see any significant action until 1994. Skipper, George Knox, started utilizing the oft-injured Clark on the advise of, Roger Bowman, a young, somewhat delusional young man.

After being inserted into the starting rotation Clark immediately returned to his old self, and with the help of the “Angels” helped pull of a miracle postseason run. He is perhaps best remembered for his performance in the one-game playoff with the Chicago White Sox. Clark was tiring in the 9th inning when Knox came out to the mound for a visit. Clark was out of gas, but the Halo faithful’s support gave him just enough strength to face one more hitter. Clark made an incredible diving grab on a comebacker off of, Kit ‘Hit or Die’ Keazy’s, bat to end the game, and win the pennant.

Unfortunately, due to many years of smoking, Clark developed lung cancer soon after the season, and died about six months later. The loss of Mel Clark is still felt throughout baseball. It is widely speculated that Clark was immediately named the ace of the Angels’ staff in Heaven after his untimely demise. It is said on a clear night in Anaheim if you look up towards the heavens you can still see Clark snagging that famous liner.