Halo Trivia: Which Angels Pitcher Recorded the First 20 Win Season?

By Mike Greyshock
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Dean Chance: 20-9 in 1964

The Angels were in their fourth season when they had a pitching staff headlined by two pitchers who’s combined ages were 45. As a club they posted a ridiculous team ERA of 2.91 and their oldest starting pitcher was 28 year-old, Ken McBride. 22 year-old Fred Newman had a good season as the number two pitcher behind the 23 year-old Dean Chance. Chance won 20 games and made the All Star team that season. Along with leading the league in wins he also led in ERA (1.65), complete games (15), shoutouts (11), innings pitched (278) and only allowed 0.2 home runs per 9 innings. Those stats added up to give the young ace an astounding ERA+ 200! Despite the fact he would go on to pitch many more quality seasons, he peaked with his career year in 1964. 

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That ERA+ still ranks as the 36th best season from a pitcher of all time. Clayton Kershaw had his best season last year when he put up an ERA+ of 197. Nolan Ryan’s best year came in 1981 when his ERA+ was 195. He helped cement the early Angels as not just another expansion team to be rolled over, but a difficult team to beat. After this season the Angels already had two season of over five-hundred ball. That’s unheard of amongst teams that young.

Today’s Angels have a rich heritage to look back on and a bright future ahead. Dean Chance deserves to be remembered as one of the best Angels of all time.

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