Angels: 3 players who resurrected their careers in Anaheim
By the time Dave Winfield arrived in Anaheim in 1990, he had already built a Hall-of-Fame resume in the Major Leagues playing for the San Diego Padres and New York Yankees.
Over his first 16 seasons in baseball, he appeared in 12 All-Star games, won seven Gold Gloves, and six Silver Slugger Awards. He finished in the top ten of MVP voting six times. In 1988, the year before he suffered a major back injury, he batted .322/.398/.530 with 25 home runs and 107 RBIs for the Yankees.
Winfield was one of the premier all-around players in baseball when a back injury forced him to miss the entire 1989 season. A year later, after contract squabbles with George Steinbrenner and the Yankees led him to be traded to the Angels for Mike Witt, it was uncertain how the 37-year-old would respond to a new atmosphere after missing so much time due to a debilitating injury late in his career.
Over the first 20 games of the 1990 season in New York before the trade, he struggled at the plate, batting .213 with only two home runs. Upon arriving to Anaheim, he found new life. The right fielder finished the season batting .275/.348/.466 over 112 games with the Angels. He hit 19 long balls and drove in 72 runs.
At the end of the season, he was named the American League Comeback Player of the Year.
Winfield played one more season with the Angels, in which he hit 28 home runs as a 39-year-old who still had some pop left in his bat. He later signed as a free agent with the Blue Jays and ultimately finished his Hall-of-Fame career with the Indians. He tacked on six more seasons to his career, beginning with his resurrection in 1990 with the Angels.