All-Angels Team: Manager (POLL)

By Brian Helberg
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Bill Rigney (1961-69)

Bill Rigney was the first manager in Angels’ history, and he was one of the best to ever hold the position in the big A. After eight successful seasons in the big leagues as an infielder with the New York Giants, Rigney earned his first shot at managing with Giants in 1956. After five seasons in New York and San Francisco, the Oakland, CA product accepted the job to coach the expansion Los Angeles Angels. The Angels shocked the baseball world in 1962 when they went 86-76 in just their second season in existence. Specs made the Halos competitive fast, and in ‘62 he took home the Sporting News Manager of the Year award after leading the Angels to their first winning season in club history.

While he never led the Halos to the postseason, Bill Rigney took a uninspiring roster and molded them into a winning team. Rigney posted a career record of 625-707 during his nine seasons in the big A. The Cricket’s 625 wins are the second highest total for a manger in Angels’ history. The ’62 season was undoubtedly his best with the Angels, but Rigney posted three winning seasons during his tenure in Anaheim. After his 18 years as a skipper were over, he spent 1980’s as a broadcaster for his hometown Oakland A’s. Specs was the right man for the job in the 60’s, and he remains one of the most well liked figures from the Angels’ early years.

Next: Jim Fregosi