It’s been a long time since LA Angels fans have had a consistently good left fielder to feel good about.
The number 7 position has been a place where overpriced free agents and young projects have gone to be forgotten.
Despite the fact that left field is a power hitting position, in LA Angels history they have never really had a major power hitter to satisfactorily fill the role. There has been some consistent offensive players, but no legitimate bombers.
Despite all the driftwood in left, the LA Angels have been successful a lot of the time.
The current occupant, Justin Upton, is in a walk year. Usually players in that situation excel to get a large payday in free agency. LA Angels legendary Mike Trout and all-world sensation Shohei Ohtani hope Upton can surpass the low expectations that fans have about him.
That being said, let’s jump in the old wayback machine and revisit the left field of LA Angels yore.
The No. 3 most legendary LA Angels left fielder of all-time: Leon Wagner
The fact that we have to go back to the 1960’s to find one of the top three tells you all you need to know about the dearth of talent the LA Angels fans have had to suffer.
Leon ‘Daddy Wags’ Wagner was a three-time American League All-Star and the MVP of the All-Star Game in 1962.
His best season was that 1962 campaign, when he hit .268/.326/.500 with 37 homers and 107 RBIs in 160 games, finishing fourth in the balloting for the AL MVP Award. He also batted .291/.352/.456 with 26 homers and 90 RBIs in 149 games in 1963.
He had 451 hits in 442 games as an LA Angel. His 37 homers in the 1962 season was a team record that took 15 years to be tied and 20 seasons until it was surpassed. He scored four runs fewer (243 to 247) than Bobby Knoop in 1,084 fewer Plate Appearances as an LA Angel.
He edges out Rick Reichardt who played six seasons with the club. In 1966, he hit the first home run in Angel Stadium history before batting .288/.367/.480 with 16 homers and 44 RBIs in 89 games that year. He received MVP votes in 1966 and was a regular for the Angels from '67-69.