1) Rod Carew
Acquired two years removed from his American League MVP season with the Twins in 1977, Rod Carew was arguably the biggest acquisition in franchise history. His arrival in 1979 proved the Angels were ready to take the leap and become legit competitors, having fallen short of the division title the season before, and still in search of their first postseason appearance in team history at the time.
The addition of Carew immediately paid dividends. He batted .318/.419/.391 in his first season with the Halos, leading the team to the postseason, where he tried to carry them on his back, batting .412 in the series loss to the Baltimore Orioles.
Carew played seven seasons with the Angels, reaching the All-Star team in six of them. He ranks second in team history in career batting average (.314) and on-base percentage (.393). He is also the franchise’s all-time leader in stolen bases as a first baseman with 73.
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The Panama native helped the Angels reach the playoffs again in 1982. He batted .319 that year and his 4.7 wins above replacement was his highest total during his tenure in Anaheim.
Over his career in Anaheim, Carew proved to be the best first baseman in franchise history.