The Halo Hangout staff has just done a series on their Favorite Angels. I am the “old fart” of the group with the rest of my colleagues being in their 20’s. With this being said I decided to do am all-time Fan Favorites by decade.
Starting from the 1960’s when the LA Angels were born until 2010’s which are now at the end of, I will a list of the Top three fan favorites from each decade. You may choose to disagree with some or all of this list. If you do tell us by commenting. I am only one diehard Angel fan, you are many.
There are definitely many more Angels that can be listed in all of the decades and it is very hard to choose just three, but I will try to do my best to represent most of the Angels fan base.
When the Angels first became a franchise there were many colorful characters and some very good players that played for the club. The names I heard mentioned the most were the following three players.
#3 – Bo Belinsky
Belinsky’s overall numbers with the Angels were not great, his personality more than made up for it. Belinsky was known to be a Hollywood Playboy by dating and later becoming engaged with Mamie Van Doren. He also entertained Ann Margaret, Tina Louise, and some say even the incomparable Marilyn Monroe. Belinsky on the diamond actually started out well for the Angels and threw the club’s first ever no-hitter.
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However things went South pretty quickly after that special day in 1962 and Belinsky was sent packing at the end of 1964. His overall record was not bad going 21-28 with a 3.74 ERA, but his brash nature and 50-cent head finally got him shipped to Philadelphia where he only recorded seven more wins in four seasons.
However his antics and personality made Belinsky a fan favorite.
#2 Dean Chance –
You could not mention Bo Belinsky without mentioning Dean Chance. Chance was Belinsky’s partner-in-crime, but he wasn’t quite as good at being a Hollywood Playboy as Belinsky, but he was much better on the mound than Bo.
Chance was a much quieter and calmer individual. He won the Angels first Cy Young Award in 2002 going 20-9 with a 1.65 ERA. He was 74-66 with a 2.83 ERA in seven seasons with the Angels and is one of only two Angel pitchers to ever win the award (Bartolo Colon was the other).
Chance was traded to Minnesota in the Winter of 1966 and he pitched five more seasons for the Twins, Cleveland, Mets, and Detroit. Finishing with 128 wins and an ERA of 2.92. He was definitely a very popular Angel in tear first decade.
#1 Jim Fregosi –
This was probably the biggest no-brainer on the list as Jim Fregosi gave the Angels their identity in those early years. He later came back and managed the team to its first-ever AL West title in 1979. Fregosi played shortstop for the Angels from 1961-1971 before being part of one of the best trades in Angels history that allowed the Angels to acquire Nolan Ryan at the end of 1971.
Fregosi was a six-time all-star and was their most consistent players in the Angels first decades of existence. In 11 seasons with the Angels, Fregosi hit 115 home runs and drove in 546 runs while hitting .268. He also stole 71 bases during that time span and had a .340 OBP.
Fregosi was named to the Angels 50-year squad at shortstop and other than maybe Gary DiSarcina in the 90’s he had no competition for the top spot. Andrelton Simmons may change that in the future if he signs an extension after next season.
There were many others that could have listed here and now you have your chance to do just that. Give us your top 3 from the 1960’s. Tomorrow will the 1970’s will be featured.