Top 50 Moments in Angel Stadium History #41-#45
#41 – 10/5/79 = The California Angels defeat the Baltimore Orioles 4-3 in 9th inning rally.
The Angels had a spectacular and somewhat magical 1979 seasons with the motto of “Yes We Can” and made the playoffs for the first time in club history as AL West Championship. In the first two games of the series in Baltimore the Angels lost two heartbreakers losing in 10 innings on a three-run homer by the Orioles John Lowenstein.
In Game 2 the Angels found themselves trailing 9-1 after three innings. In the 6th-9th inning the Angels staged a spirited comeback to pull within one run before the Orioles Don Stanhouse closed them out in the 9th inning one run shy 9-8 as he got Brian Downing to ground out with the bases loaded and two outs..
That brings us to Game 3 in Anaheim at the Big “A”. This is the first home playoff game in team history. The game went back and forth with the Angels taking a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Both teams traded runs in the third inning with the Angels forging ahead on AL MVP Don Baylor‘s home run. The Orioles took two single runs in the 6th and 7th inning to take a 3-2 lead. Going into the bottom of the 9th the Angels were trailing 3-2. With the crowd chanting “Yes We Can”, “Yes We Can”, “Yes We Can” the Angels staged one more rally.
The inning started with Don Baylor flying out. Rod Carew then hit a double knocking out Orioles starter Dennis Martinez and on came Stanhouse again trying to send Baltimore to the World Series. Brian Downing then walked to put runners at first and second and then Bobby Grich hit a fly ball to left fielder Al Bumbry who dropped the ball which allowed Rod Carew to score the tying run. Up came Larry Harlow who ripped a double to center scoring Downing setting off a celebration and giving the Angels their first playoff win in club history.
Unfortunately the next day the Angels magical series came to an end as the Orioles Scott McGregor pitched a complete game six-hit shutout to send the Orioles to the World Series. But at least the Angels and their fans had one good memory to take away from their first trip to the playoffs.