All Angels Team: Left Fielder [Poll]

By Brian Helberg
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Brian Downing (1978-90)

After attending Cypress College in Cypress, CA, Brian Downing signed with the Chicago White Sox as an amateur free agent in 1969. Downing spent his first five seasons playing for the South Siders before being traded to the California Angels in December of 1977. The Incredible Hulk spent 13 seasons playing for his hometown Angels, making one All-Star appearance, and finishing in the top 20 in MVP voting three times. Downing was instrumental to the Halos success in the late 70’s and early 80’s. His best season came in 1979, as he helped lead the Angels to their first ever postseason appearance by hitting .326, with 12 home runs and 75 runs driven in. Downing was always known for his ability to work counts and earn walks, but in ’79 he posted a career high .418 on base percentage.

Brian Downing was a key contributor for all three of the Angels postseason runs during his tenure in Anaheim. Downing combined to hit .271, with 222 home runs and 846 RBI’s as a member of the Angels. Downing also posted an impressive .372 on base percentage as a Halo. The Anaheim, CA product was a great defensive left fielder, posting a career .995 fielding percentage, nearly 20 points higher than the average left fielder during the same time period. His 2.18 range factor was slightly lower than the 2.27 average, but that does not diminish his greatness with the leather. Downing tallied an impressive 37.8 wins above replacement during his 13 seasons in Anaheim.

When Brian Downey left Anaheim in 1990, he was the club’s all time leader in hits, doubles, home runs, RBI’s, at bats, games, runs, and base on balls. Downing was inducted into the Angels Hall of Fame in 2009.

Next: Garret Anderson

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