Los Angeles Angels legend Dean Chance passes away at 74.


Less than months after being inducted into the Angels hall of fame, former Cy Young Award winner Dean Chance has passed away at the age of 74 Sunday afternoon in Wooster, Ohio. Chance was one the first stars of the expansion Los Angeles Angels who had drafted him in the 1960 expansion draft from the Washington Senators. Chance debuted for the Angels at age 20 in 1961 going 0-2 with a 6.82 ERA in five games. His true rookie season in 1962 Chance showed signs of what would be to come as he finished with a 14-10 record with 8 saves and a 2.96 ERA which helped Chance finish third in the Rookie of the Year voting. After posting a 13-18 record in 1963 with a 3.19 ERA, Chance had his best season in his major league career in 1964. He posted the lowest ERA by a starting pitcher in Angels’ franchise history at 1.64 going 20-9 with 15 complete games and a staggering 11 shutouts and Chance also saved 4 games. Chance’s 1964 campaign was so eye-popping that he earned the AL Cy Young Award despite the Angels finishing in fifth place with a record of 82-80. Chance also made the AL All-Star team in 1964. Chance pitched two more seasons with the Angels going 15-10 in 1965 and 16-16 in 1966, before being traded to the Minnesota Twins during the winter before the 1967 season. During his Los Angeles Angels career Chance was 74-66 with a 2.83 ERA, with 48 complete games, 21 shutouts and 16 saves.

What Chance was also known for was being the running mate of teammate and Hollywood socialite Bo Belinsky, who would routinely hang out with such names as Marilyn Monroe, Ann-Margret, Tina Louise, Connie Stevens, Mamie Van Doren, as well as Frank Sinatra. The pair combined to help the Los Angeles Angels finish in second place in 1962 which was unheard of for an expansion team. Recently on August 22, 2015 Dean Chance was inducted into the Los Angeles Angels Hall of Fame during a pre-game ceremony before the Angels game vs. the Toronto Blue Jays. Chance was inducted along with “Mr. Angel” Tim Salmon, and another Angels’ pitching great of the 1980’s Mike Witt. Two weeks prior to the induction while I was talking with another Angels’ pitching legend Clyde Wright, Wright was talking about Chance being inducted into the Angels Hall of Fame. Wright said Chance had told him that he wanted to invite some of the former Hollywood actresses he and Belinsky had run around with, to his Angels Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Wright said he told Chance “They are all old now and most of them don’t look that good anymore”. One named that Wright said Chance really wanted to be at the ceremony was Van Doren. No word if Van Doren showed up to the ceremony, but it was a special night that Chance richly deserved for his early contributions to the Los Angeles Angels as their first legitimate pitching talents.

Chance is only one of two Angels pitchers with Bartolo Colon being the other in 2005, who won the AL Cy Young award. Chance finished his 11-year career with a 128-115 record with a 2.92 ERA and 1534 strikeouts with 83 complete games and 33 shutouts. Dean Chance was a truly special pitcher and person and he will be missed by the entire Los Angeles Angels family.