Former Los Angeles Angels starter Jered Weaver doesn’t believe his number will be retired in Angel Stadium, but should it be?
Over eleven seasons with the Halos, Jered Weaver placed his name high on many of the franchise’s all-time leaders lists: he is second in career wins to Chuck Finley with 150; he is third in strikeouts; and he has accumulated the fourth highest Wins Above Replacement (WAR) as a pitcher.
Weaver has been a key figure for many of the franchise’s most memorable moments over the past two decades. He started on seven Opening Days. He was on the mound when the Angels won their 4,000th game as a franchise. On May 2, 2012, he became the sixth Angels starter to pitch a no-hitter, which, technically, was his second such involvement in the rare feat, having combined for a no-hitter with Jose Arredondo in 2008.
Weaver has started in the fourth most postseason games in club history. His 2.96 ERA as a starter is the lowest among Angels pitchers who have started at least three playoff games. He also made three relief appearances when the games mattered most.
Weaver burst onto the scene in 2006, winning his first seven starts, third most all-time to start a player’s career. He finished with double digit wins in ten of the eleven seasons he pitched in Anaheim.
However, in a conversation with a fan on Twitter on Sunday night, the former starter said he was “pretty sure” his number wouldn’t be retired by the team.
So is he right? Or should the Angels consider retiring his #36 at The Big A?
Well, first it’s important to consider the baseline set by the franchise on previously retired numbers. The Angels have only hung up six numbers in their 59-year history.
Having set a high standard for pulling numbers out of circulation, it’s easy to see why former starter Jered Weaver does not seem confident his number will one day be included on the list. Taking out former owners, long-time coaches, and historical figures, leaves two Hall-of-Famers in Rod Carew and Nolan Ryan.
Weaver was a three-time All Star over his career, a reliable number one starter, but he falls a little short in comparison to the greats honored before him. Unless the Angels loosen their standards for retiring numbers, it doesn’t seem likely they would make an exception for a player who isn’t going to be a Hall-of-Famer. That said, there is no reason for him not to be included in the franchise Hall-of-Fame, along the likes of Garret Anderson, Mike Witt, and Tim Salmon.
Jered Weaver deserves recognition for his tenure with the Angels, even if it isn’t retiring his number 36. At the very least, it’s important with baseball on pause to take the time to look back and remember his amazing career.