LA Angels All-Decade Team: Alberto Callaspo Was a Bright Light in a Black Hole
By Vincent Page
One of the most prevalent storylines of the LA Angels this decade was their ineptitude to fill the black hole at third base. While Alberto Callaspo only spent 2 1/2 years in Anaheim, he was one major bright spot for at least one family.
Let me be clear, after the LA Angels signed Anthony Rendon to kickstart a new era of Halos baseball, I briefly considered putting him as the all-decade third baseman. Yes, the Anthony Rendon who has yet to even be introduced (at the time of this writing) at Angels’ stadium has an argument as the best third baseman in a decade he won’t play for the Angels in.
However, Alberto Callaspo holds too special of a place in my heart, and more importantly, my mom’s heart.
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To this day, I can’t pinpoint exactly what it was about the guy that made my household his #1 fanbase. The way he played was fun, wild and reckless on the field and basepaths. I personally was a huge fan of his swing, that smooth stroke that he could mirror from either said of the plate. I know my mom was a huge fan of his name, and would use any opportunity to chant it.
And let’s be honest here. Alberto Callaspo was a slightly above average hitting third baseman during his time with the Angels. He posted a 104 OPS+ during his two full season with Anaheim, and in a decade of ineptitude from that position, we probably didn’t appreciate Callaspo’s remarkable averageness while he was in Anaheim.
One memory I still hold was watching the Angels game while Alberto Callaspo was traded. I had read there were some possibilities of the team dealing him, but to see it happen in the middle of a game hit me weird as a young baseball fan. The process of being pulled from the game, hugging teammates and coaches, then disappearing down the clubhouse hallway was hard to watch.
So yes, Alberto Callaspo is the 2010’s all-decade third baseman. It helps that no other player was able to hold down the spot as long him, but he held a special place in my heart and in a very special person in my life’s heart as well. That makes him a runaway winner in my books.