October 5, 1979 – Game 3 ALCS – California Angels 4, Baltimore Orioles 3
Why is this game so important? This was the first home playoff game in Angel history, not only that it was also the first playoff victory in team history. The team motto in 1979 was “Yes We Can” and the Angels believed their way into winning the team’s first American League Western Division title.
More from Halo Hangout
- New York Post columnist has LA Angels bringing veteran starter back to LA
- Dodgers make wild mistake signing failed LA Angels starter
- Why LA Angels’ Qualifying Offer to Raisel Iglesias could become historical
- Both Gold Glove finalists for LA Angels getting snubbed is a complete joke
- Marcus Stroman definitely appears to be interested in the LA Angels
The Angels faced the AL East champion Baltimore Orioles and dropped the first two games in Baltimore and came home to Anaheim Stadium in hopes of getting back in the Best-of-Five series. The Angels jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning on an RBI-single by Dan Ford.
The Orioles tied the game in the top of the third inning, but Don Baylor, 1979 AL MVP, connected for a home run to put the Angels back on top 2-1. The Orioles tied it in the top of the 6th inning then took the lead 3-2 in the top of the 7th inning to set-up a dramatic late inning comeback.
The Angels went into the bottom of th 9th still trailing 3-2 and in danger of being swept out of their first playoff series. With one out Rod Carew hit a double and Brian Downing walked to set the table. Bobby Grich then hit a drive to centerfield which Orioles center fielder Al Bumbry dropped allowing Carew to score.
Downing went to second on the play setting the stage for Larry Harlow. Harlow delivered with a game-winning double that scored Downing giving the Angels a dramatic come-from-behind 4-3 victory.
This was the first of 27 Angel playoff victories and even though the Angels would be eliminated on the very next day with an 8-0 defeat, but 23 years later the Angels would have their day in the sun.