The 5 Best Leftfielders in Los Angeles Angels History
No. 3: Rick Reichardt
Reichardt, a great athlete, played both baseball and football at Wisconsin, and when it came time for him to sign with a major league club in 1964, a bidding war ensued, and he came to the Los Angeles Angels for a signing bonus of $205,000, despite the Kansas City A’s offering him more money. The bonus was a record at the time, and it was the fight for his services that led MLB to institute a draft in 1965. He played in 11 games in 1964 and 20 games in 1965 before he became a regular in 1966, the season the Angels opened Anaheim Stadium. He hit the first home run in Anaheim Stadium with a solo shot off Tommy John on April 19.
His season and career were off to a promising start, hitting .288/.367/.480 with 16 home runs and 44 RBIs through 89 games, but he was diagnosed with congenital kidney blockage and had to have his kidney removed. He missed the rest of the year. He still received some votes for MVP that year, but he was never quite the same player.
Reichardt did end up becoming a great defender, with the second-most DRS among Angel leftfielders. He spent three more years with the Angels, averaging a slash line of .258/.322/.398 with 17 home runs and 70 RBIs. He played in nine games with the Angels in 1970 before being traded with Aurelio Rodriguez to the Washington Senators for Ken McMullen. For his Angels career, Reichardt was worth 12.5 WAR for his Angel career.
Next: Mr. Consistency