This, like a number of the top LA Angels moments, is one that we look back on with distaste. In the moment, the Josh Hamilton signing was one that gave the team and fans legitimate World Series hopes.
Just one year after the LA Angels handed out big-time contracts to Albert Pujols and C.J Wilson (more on that later on in the list), Arte Moreno and Co. went out and acquired Josh Hamilton’s services on a 5-year, $125 million contract.
After a somewhat disappointing 2012 season with the newly acquired Pujols, Wilson, and Mike Trout‘s arrival, it was obvious the Angels needed more. The Angels had a great record at 89-73, but still missed the playoffs and placed third in the American League West. The Oakland Athletics and Texas Rangers finished in first and second, and the Halos were left as the best non-playoff team of the season.
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So they went out and added a power lefty to compliment Pujols and Trout atop the rotation. Building up to the season, the power bats of those three, plus Mark Trumbo and Torii Hunter gave the Angels (like, literally) the best group of hitters atop a lineup in the entire MLB.
Their pitching staff was fine in 2012, and the Angels weren’t able to sign a star free agent pitcher. So they opted instead to add a huge bat to their lineup in hopes of purely outhitting their opponents (sound familiar?). In theory, this was the perfect plan.
Obviously, that didn’t work out, but that’s not what this post is about.
For me personally, Josh Hamilton was my favorite player in the league outside of Anaheim when he hit free agency that year. When he signed with my favorite team, I couldn’t stop thinking about how great the team was going to be. I wouldn’t start writing for Halo Hangout for four years, but I spent hours at a time writing out lineups and playing MLB The Show with the newest addition to the Angels.
So no, the Angels didn’t wind up winning a World Series with Josh Hamilton. They had the 2014 season, but that one was marred by the ending as well. Nonetheless, the feeling of seeing the notifications of Josh Hamilton signing with the Angels was euphoric for me, and something I’ll never forget.