The First LA Angels We Loved Pt. 1: Dan Haren
There have been so many great LA Angels players since the start of the organization, and everyone has their own individual favorite player when watching. While there have been huge names, even before I was able to get interested in baseball, one player that always fascinated me while he pitched was Dan Haren.
Dan Haren was an amazing pitcher before coming to the LA Angels while pitching for the Athletics, and Diamondbacks before coming to the Angels in a huge trade. It was a trade that saw many Angels prospects being dealt including Rafael Rodriguez, Patrick Corbin, and Tyler Skaggs.
While he pitched some really good starts while with the Angels, the Angels didn’t make the postseason in any of the years he pitched with them which were 2010-2012. During those years, I started becoming more interested in baseball and while I started picking it up more in 2008, I was fully interested during the years Haren pitched for the Angels.
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One of the reason why I enjoyed him being on the Angels was the way he pitched, proving that high velocity isn’t the only way to get a batter out. He was the first player that I got a jersey of and I remember going with my parents to Angels games when he would pitch at home, happily rooting for him to go deep into the game and dominate.
I had even created a timeline of his career for a small school project in my computers class, I was able to learn more about him as I researched all the way up to where he was recently with the Angels.
One of the greatest things to see on television for me was when he pitched three complete game shutouts over the course of the 2011 season. After he signed with the Nationals after the 2012 season, I was sad to see him go, but was glad to see he was given another opportunity elsewhere and I would be following his career from afar wishing him nothing but good luck in his career.
There was just something about his pitching style that I liked and while getting to see some of his pitches reach around the 90 mph on television or at the game in person, it made me feel that anyone can be a pitcher no matter how hard or soft you throw, as long as it gets the batter out.
It was eye-popping to see pitchers throw 100 mph, however it was becoming a common thing as I watching throughout the years, so it was extra special to see someone use deception and movement rather than velocity to get outs. He was just an overall great pitcher through my eyes, and I was glad to get to see him pitch while he was with the Angels.
While researching him for my previously mentioned school project, I had learned he was from southern California which made me think that he probably loved pitching so close to home. While he isn’t the most popular Angels player, Dan Haren was a player that definitely stood out to me and helped me get more involved in being a passionate fan at such a young age.