Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
- For the Pacific Coast League franchise see: Los Angeles Angels (PCL).
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are a Major League Baseball franchise based in Anaheim, California and aligned in the Western Division of the American League. They are informally referred to as the Halos. Because of the unusual length of the team's official name, most news organizations refer to the club either as the Angels of Anaheim, or, as the team itself prefers, as the Los Angeles Angels. Its ownership group is called Angels Baseball, LP.
- Founded: 1961 (American League expansion)
- Formerly known as:
- Home ballpark: Angel Stadium of Anaheim
- Uniform colors:
- Home: White and Red
- Away: Silver and Red
- Logo design: Red "A" with a silver halo on top, all outlined in navy blue
- Wild Card titles won (1): 2002
- Division titles won (4): 1979, 1982, 1986, 2004
- American League pennants won (1): 2002
- World Series championships won (1): 2002
The Pacific Coast League
From 1903 through 1957, the Los Angeles Angels were one of the mainstays of the Pacific Coast League, winning the PCL pennant 12 times. After the 1957 season, the Angels and their crosstown rivals, the Hollywood Stars, were forced to relocate when the National League Brooklyn Dodgers confirmed their long-rumored move to Los Angeles for the 1958 season.
Early AL Years
In 1960, the American League announced plans to place an expansion team in Los Angeles, to begin play in 1961. Gene Autry, former actor and owner of a number of radio and TV stations on the West Coast of the United States, attended the Major League Owners’ meeting in St. Louis in 1960 in hopes of winning broadcasting rights for the new team’s games. After two different bids to acquire the new A.L. team failed, it was suggested to Autry that he acquire the team itself. Autry (who had been a minority stockholder in the PCL Stars) agreed, and purchased the franchise. He named the new team the Los Angeles Angels, after the long-successful PCL team, after paying Dodgers owner Walter O'Malley $300,000 for the rights to the name. (O'Malley had also owned the PCL Angels during their last year of existence, and still owned the rights to the name though the team played as the Spokane Indians beginning in 1958.)
During its existence, the team has called three different stadiums home. During the 1961 inaugural season, the Angels played at historic Wrigley Field in South Central Los Angeles, for many years the home field of the PCL Angels. From 1962-1965 the team played at Dodger Stadium as tenants of the Dodgers, though the Angels always referred to their home field as Chavez Ravine (the name of the area in which the stadium is located).
In 1966, the Angels left the city of Los Angeles altogether for newly-constructed Anaheim Stadium, now known as Angel Stadium, where they have played ever since. Earlier, on September 2, 1965, team ownership announced the Los Angeles Angels would henceforth be known as the California Angels, in anticipation of the team's move to suburban Anaheim in Orange County. At the time, the Halos were the only American League team in the state of California. Despite the move of the Kansas City Athletics to Oakland in 1968, the Angels retained their "California" moniker until 1996. In 1997, as a result of negotiations with the city of Anaheim for renovation of Anaheim Stadium, the team changed its name again, to the Anaheim Angels.
For most of its history, the Angels have foundered on the field and in the marketplace. But, there have been a few bright spots. In 1961, the first year of the team’s existence, the Halos finished 70-91 for a .435 winning percentage, still the highest winning percentage ever for a first-year major league expansion team. Moreover, they not only finished 9 games ahead of their fellow expansionists, the Washington Senators (now the Texas Rangers), but also 9 games ahead of the established Kansas City Athletics. In 1962, the Angels -- amazingly -- were a contender for the American League pennant for most of the season, finishing in third place (out of 10 teams), 10 games in back of the Yankees!
Entering the Playoffs
The Angels won their first American League West Division championship in 1979, losing what then was a best 3-out-of-5 American League Championship Series to a superior Baltimore Orioles team, 3 games to 1. The Angels won Game 3 at home, scoring twice in the bottom of the 9th inning to shade Baltimore 4-3.
The Angels nearly reached the World Series in the 1982 postseason. After clinching first place in the AL West Division, the Angels won the first two games of the ALCS against the A.L. East champion Milwaukee Brewers -- then lost three in a row to lose the series. As Steve Bisheff wrote in Tales from the Angels Dugout, “No team in history had ever come back from an 0-2 deficit to win in a best-of-five series. Of course, no team had ever faced the Angels in that situation.”
Again, the Angels nearly reached the World Series in the 1986 post season. Again champions of the American League West, the Angels faced the Boston Red Sox in the ALCS (now best 4-out-of-7). Leading in the series 3 games to 1, the Angels were one win away from defeating Boston and going to the World Series for the first time in their franchise history. Donnie Moore came in to pitch the top of the 9th inning of Game Five with a 5-2 lead. Though twice the Halos were one strike away from winning the A.L. Pennant, Moore gave up a two-out, two-strike, two-run home run to Dave Henderson that put Boston ahead 6-5. After the Angels tied the game in the bottom of the 9th, Boston would later win the game 7-6 in 11 innings and win the remaining two games in the series to play in the 1986 World Series.
In 1995 the Angels outdid themselves. In first place by 11 games in August, the Angels collapsed during the final week of the season to finish in a tie with the Seattle Mariners for the A.L. West Division championship. Behind clutch pitching by Randy Johnson, the M's dispatched the Halos 9-1 in Seattle to win the title.
World Series Title
Then came 2002. Unfancied by pundits before the season, the Angels exceeded expectations, winning 99 games and edging out Seattle for the American League "wildcard" berth in the postseason. They defeated the New York Yankees 3 games to 1 in the American League Division Series and the Minnesota Twins 4 games to 1 in the ALCS to advance to the World Series for the first time in franchise history. In the World Series they defeated the San Francisco Giants in seven games, after losing three of the first five. Down 3 games to 2, the Angels found themselves behind 5-0 in Game Six with but eight outs remaining and no one on base. In the greatest comeback in World Series history by a team facing elimination, the Halos rallied to win 6-5, then won the 7th game 4-1 to win their first and only World Series. Third baseman Troy Glaus was named the MVP of the Series. Twenty-year-old rookie relief pitcher Francisco Rodríguez won five postseason games, never having won a major league game before. Angel pitcher John Lackey became the first rookie pitcher to win the 7th game of the World Series in 93 years.
A New Owner and an (Almost) Old Name
On January 3, 2005 Angels Baseball, LP, the ownership group for the team, announced that it would change the name of the club from the Anaheim Angels to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Team spokesmen pointed out that from its inception, the Angels had been granted territorial rights by Major League Baseball to the Counties of Los Angeles, Ventura, Riverside, and San Bernardino in addition to Orange County. New owner Moreno believed the new name would help him market the team to the entire Southern California region rather than just Orange County. The "of Anaheim" was included in the official name to comply with a provision of the team's lease at Angel Stadium which requires that "Anaheim be included" in the team's name.
Anaheim Mayor Curt Pringle and other city officials countered that the name change violated the spirit of the lease clause, even if in technical compliance. They argued that a name change was a major bargaining chip in negotiations beween the city and Disney Sports Enterprises, Inc. , then the ownership group for the Angels. They further argued that the city would never have agreed to the new lease without the name change, because the new lease required that the city partially fund the stadium's renovation but provides very little revenue for the city. Anaheim sued Angels Baseball, LP in Orange County Superior Court, and a trial has been set for November 7.
The city has also sought an injunction to stop the name change, which was rejected by the superior court judge. The city appealed the judge's ruling on the injunction to the 4th Court of Appeal, which granted an unusual writ moving the city's case to the top of the docket and held a hearing on March 28. Though a ruling was anticipated by April 7, the three justices of the appellate court merely urged the city and the team to work towards a settlement prior to trial. As of yet, no settlement has been reached and none is anticipated.
Players of note
- Rod Carew
- Reggie Jackson
- Eddie Murray
- Frank Robinson
- Nolan Ryan
- Don Sutton
- Hoyt Wilhelm
- Dave Winfield
- 24 Bud Black (pitching)
- 4 Alfredo Griffin (first base)
- 7 Mickey Hatcher (hitting)
- 70 Joe Maddon (bench)
- 48 Orlando Mercado (bullpen pitching)
- 10 Ron Roenicke (third base)
- 61 Steve Soliz (bullpen catcher)
Not to be forgotten
* Player and manager
- 11 Jim Fregosi
- 26 Gene Autry
- 29 Rod Carew
- 30 Nolan Ryan
- 42 Jackie Robinson (Retired throughout baseball)
- 50 Jimmie Reese
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