Top-50 Greatest Moments in Angels Baseball
Greatest Moments 31 - 40

41 - 50 21 - 30 11 - 20 1 - 10


#40 - Aug. 18, 2000: Erstad is 'incredible'


By Geoff Bilau - AngelsWin.com Senior Editor

Few who are familiar with recent Angels history would be surprised that the man at the center of the team's most memorable comeback of the 2000 season was Darin Erstad. Even though his teammates were hitting home runs at a record pace, there was never any question about who was that season's MVP.

And no game better illustrated the magic of that year than this shocker in the Bronx.

Early on, it was like so many Angels/Yankees games of the past, with the Angels scoring one run and the Yankees answering with two. And two more. And two more. After the sixth inning, New York led, 8-3, and Roger Clemens found his groove, retiring the Angels in order in the seventh and eighth.

And though he'd already thrown 119 pitches, Clemens came out for the ninth. Singles by Troy Glaus and Bengie Molina sent him to the showers, however, and reliever Jeff Nelson was summoned to quell this minor uprising. Nelson retired Adam Kennedy on a flyout, but walked Kevin Stocker to load the bases, convincing Joe Torre to go to his bullpen ace, Mariano Rivera. And when Erstad hit into a fielder's choice at third, the Angels gained a run, but were now down to their last out against the game's premier closer.

But then the Angels grabbed a bit of that Yankee Stadium "mystique and aura" for themselves when Orlando Palmeiro laced a double into right field to score Stocker and cut the Yankees lead to 8-5. Two pitches later, Mo Vaughn launched an 0-1 Rivera cutter into the upper deck in right field, tying the game and bringing the Angels all the way back from an 8-3 ninth inning deficit.

"Until the game is over, you keep battling," Erstad said. "How many times are you going to see that kind of comeback in your career, against one of the best pitchers ever and one of the best closers in the game? That's why we play until the last out."

The Yankees didn't quit, either, and appeared poised to snatch back the victory in the bottom of the tenth when pinch runner Luis Polonia reached third with two outs and Derek Jeter was intentionally walked in favor of Jorge Posada. Posada smashed a drive into the left-center gap that had walk-off written all over it. Somehow, Erstad, motoring from over near the left field line, managed to get close enough to make a full-extension dive on the ball already past him, reaching out and hauling it in before crashing violently onto the outfield grass.

"I thought it split the gap when he hit it," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "All I can say is incredible."

Many Yankees had already spilled out of the dugout to celebrate, most then lingering in amazement that they had not just won the game.

"I thought the game was over," Clemens said. "That was one of the top three catches I've seen in my years in the game."

Instead the Angels players were the ones celebrating, greeting Erstad in foul territory and mobbing him in the dugout.

"They wouldn't leave me alone, and I'm like, 'I've got to go hit, leave me alone,'" Erstad said.

Due up second in the eleventh, the Erstad Show was primed for an encore. After Stocker's failed bunt attempt, Erstad lofted a Mike Stanton offering high into right field and just over the fence to give the Angels a 9-8 lead. The Yankees went 1-2-3 in the bottom half and the Angels won a game they twice seemed sure to lose.

"Posada smoked that ball," Erstad said of his catch in the tenth. "It was just one of those things. You just react and let your ability take over."

Whether it was ability, luck, grit or some combination of all three, Erstad's 2000 season is arguably the greatest offensive (and defensive) performance in franchise history. He batted .355 with 240 hits (No. 13 all-time), 121 runs scored, 39 doubles, six triples, 25 home runs, 28 stolen bases and an unprecedented 100 RBI, all from the leadoff spot, the first player ever to reach the century mark from the top of the order.

He was eighth in the A.L. MVP voting and won a Silver Slugger award.

In a word, Erstad in 2000 was incredible.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/NYA/NYA200008180.shtml


#39 - Nov. 8, 2005: Colon awarded Cy Young


By Adam Dodge - AngelsWin.com Senior Writer

Despite the dynamic runs of Nolan Ryan and Frank Tanana in the '70s and the marvelous Angels careers of guys like Mike Witt, Chuck Finley, Mark Langston and Jim Abbott in the '80s and '90s, it had been 41 years since Dean Chance took home the Angels franchise's only Cy Young award in 1964.

The Angels had quite possibly their busiest off-season before the 2004 campaign, signing four of the most highly touted free agents, including Jose Guillen and Kelvim Escobar, and top prizes, Vladimir Guerrero and Bartolo Colon.

Guerrero did not disappoint in 2004, taking home the American League MVP award. A year later, after earning a league best 21 victories against just 8 losses, Colon became the second Angel to win a Cy Young award, easily beating out Yankee closer, Mariano Rivera and Twins ace, Johan Santana.

Without the statistical dominance of Cy Young winners past - Colon was eighth in the A.L. with a 3.48 ERA, tenth in complete games, seventh in innings pitched and eighth in strikeouts - it was Colon's consistency and ability to win that propelled him to the A.L.'s top honor for pitchers in 2005.

While a bad back and shoulder limited Colon to just 8 innings in the 2005 ALDS, and kept him out of the ALCS altogether, his 2005 regular season will go down as one of the greatest in Angels history.


#38 - Trio of Hall of Fame moments


By Geoff Bilau - AngelsWin.com Senior Editor

Sept. 17, 1984: Reggie hits No. 500
Aug. 4, 1985: Carew collects No. 3,000
June 18, 1986: Sutton wins No. 300

For three consecutive seasons, one each year, Angels fans were treated to a player reaching a Hall of Fame milestone while wearing an Angels uniform. More impressively, each accomplished the feat at Anaheim Stadium.

First up was Reggie Jackson. The self-proclaimed "straw that stirs the drink" arrived in Anaheim two years earlier, signing as a free agent and bringing with him 425 home runs in 14 previous seasons.

Jackson immediately delivered to his billing, whopping 39 home runs in 1982 and helping the Angels clinch their second division title. Jackson slumped badly in 1983, batting .194 and hitting only 14 home runs. But he was now just 22 home runs shy of 500.

In the waning days of the 1984 season, with the Angels in a pennant chase with the Twins and Royals, Jackson's pursuit of No. 500 gave the season some additional drama. In the seventh inning of a foggy Monday night game against the Royals, with the Angels trailing, 7-0, Jackson connected, driving Bud Black's first pitch deep over the right field fence. (It was one of only three hits Black would allow the Angels on the night.)

"My first thought was, 'That's it,' " Jackson told reporters after the game. "My second was, I wish we could be winning. I wished it could've been a seven-run homer to tie the score."

The home run came 17 years to the day that Jackson hit his first homer, as a member of the Kansas City Athletics against the Angels at Anaheim Stadium in 1967.

Jackson would hit 123 of his 563 career homers for the Angels, none more memorable than this one.

The following August, Rod Carew was also chasing baseball immortality. A seven-time batting champion in 12 seasons with the Twins, Carew came to the Angels in 1979 with 2,085 hits.

Though he was never a great run producer for the Angels as he had been with the Twins, Carew could still bat .300 in his sleep and his .339 average in 1983 was a team record that held up for 17 years.

As the 1985 season, and his career, wound down, Carew landed himself in the exclusive 3,000-hit club. With his patented slap swing, Carew lined No. 3,000 to left field off Minnesota Twins lefty Frank Viola. Most Angels fans can vividly recall the image of Carew reaching up to secure his helmet as he trotted to first base under a bright Sunday afternoon sky.

"He threw me a tough pitch (a slider down and away)," Carew said. "If I hadn't stayed with that pitch and taken it, I would have been called out on a third strike. Fortunately, I was able to get the bat on the ball and place it in left field."

Carew retired following the 1985 season with 3,053 hits. His .314 average with the Angels is second only to Vladimir Guerrero's .327.

And finally, Don Sutton, in the midst of his 21st Major League season, was closing in on his own place in baseball history.

Acquired during the Angels ultimately fruitless stretch run in 1985, Sutton came to Anaheim having already won 293 games. He won two more in 1985 and entered the 1986 season five shy of the milestone.

On a Wednesday night against the visiting Texas Rangers, sitting on 299 victories, Sutton pitched like a man half his age. Through six innings, he'd allowed only one hit and carried a three-hitter (one run) into the ninth.

More than 37,000 fans climbed to their feet as Sutton took the mound for the ninth inning. He quickly retired Scott Fletcher and Oddibe McDowell on flyouts. In a fitting finale, Sutton struck out Gary Ward to end it. Sutton had pitched a complete game, three-hitter to win his 300th game.

"It's remarkable how time after time it's been proven how special people do special things," manager Gene Mauch said. "I imagine that Don is proud that No. 300 was this kind of game rather than just another win."

Sutton won 15 games in 1986 and 11 in 1987 before finishing his career back with the Dodgers in 1988, retiring with 324 victories.

Carew was inducted into baseball's Hall of Fame in 1991, his first year of eligibility. Jackson was enshrined in 1993, also his first eligible year, and Sutton in 1998. And though none of these players went in representing the Angels, their milestone moments will forever be part of Angels lore.


#37 - April 11, 1961: Big Klu leads Angels to first victory


By Victor Varadi - AngelsWin.com Columnist

It was a great story. Gene Autry had purchased an expansion baseball franchise, naming it the Los Angeles Angels. Then the reality set in.

The Angels would have to field a team and then go out and compete. Without free agency, the odds were against any team in that era being able to start from scratch and compete. This is not the part of the story where the young scrappy team goes on to win itself a championship in its inaugural season - again, a great story, but not part of the reality.

Not only were the Angels expected to compete in the tough American League, where the mighty Yankees and the M and M boys, Maris and Mantle, were perennial favorites for the Word Series crown, but their first game would be against the Baltimore Orioles, a team that would contend every year until finally winning it all in 1966.

The Angels were led by big Teddy Kluszewski, a .298 career hitter and 4-time All-Star who once cut off the sleeves of his uniform to alleviate the restrictions on his large biceps as he took rips with the bat. But Kluszewski, who had 3 times hit more than 40 homers and 8 times batted at least .300, was at the end of his career and had been so plagued by injuries that he was left unprotected in the expansion draft. The Angels made Big Klu their first baseman.

Kluszewski was true to form in the curtain lifter of what would turn out to be is final season. In the first inning of the Angels inaugural game at Baltimore's Memorial Stadium, Kluszewski came to the plate with two outs and a young Albie Pearson on first. The big lefthander hit a homer down the right field line, quickly giving the Angels their first ever lead. But Klu wasn't done. In the second inning, he came to the plate again, this time with two men on, and hit a blast to deep right field that put the Angels up 6-0. Bob Cerv would later add a solo homer and the Angels went on to an easy 7-2 victory.

Kluszewski finished the game 2-for-4 with two home runs and 5 RBI. He would finish the season batting .243 with 15 homeruns. The 1961 Angels won 70 games, the most ever by an expansion team in its first year.


#36 - 1993: Salmon named Rookie of the Year


By Chuck Richter - AngelsWin.com Executive Editor

A year after putting some hurtin' on Pacific Coast League pitchers, hitting .347 with 29 home runs, 105 RBI and a ridiculous 1.141 OPS for the Edmonton Trappers, the Kingfish headed upstream to Anaheim and won a unanimous vote for the American League Rookie of the Year Award in 1993 .

Salmon, a notorious slow starter who holds the unique distinction of having the most home runs of any player never selected to an All-Star team, was no different during his rookie campaign as he started the '93 season in the shadow of rookie sensation J.T. Snow, who got off to a tremendous start. The second half was always much kinder to Salmon, as it seemed that his bat heated up with the weather and, boy, did he put a pounding on the Texas Rangers.

Salmon, not Snow, wound up winning the award, representing a first for the California Angels. He batted .283 with 31 home runs and 95 RBI, along with 35 doubles, 93 runs scored and a slugging percentage of .536. He was also tied in A.L. outfield assists with 12. Snow started the 1994 season in the minors after struggling badly in the second half of Salmon's ROY campaign.

Salmon quickly became a favorite of the Angels organization and a household name among the team's fans thereafter. Timmy played a crucial role in the Angels' playoff and World Series run in 2002, hitting two key home runs in Game 2 of the World Series against the San Francisco Giants, a moment in Angels history that fans will never forget.

The King Fish was hampered by injuries late in his career and was forced to retire in 2006. Salmon played his final game on Oct. 1, 2006, against the Oakland Athletics. He is the Angels' all-time leader in home runs (299), runs scored (983), walks (965) and slugging percentage (.499). He finished his career second in franchise history with 1,012 RBI, behind only Garret Anderson.

To this day, Tim Salmon remains the only Angels player that has won a Rookie of the Year Award, though when Angels fans remember him, it won't be just the stats, big home runs or awards that they think of, but Tim Salmon the person. Tim Salmon was the quintessential gentleman of the game of Baseball.

Career Highlights, Awards, and Accolades:

* Named 1992 Minor League Player of the Year by Baseball America
* Named 1992 Minor League Player of the Year by The Sporting News
* Named 1993 AL Rookie of the Year by Baseball Writers of America
* Named 1993 AL Rookie of the Year by The Sporting News
* Named 2002 AL Comeback Player of the Year by The Sporting News
* Named outfielder on The Sporting News AL All-Star Team in 1995 and 1997
* Named outfielder on The Sporting News AL Silver Slugger Team in 1995
* Member of the World Series Champion Anaheim Angels in 2002
* Hit 30 or more home runs in five seasons
* Compiled a lifetime .883 OPS


#35 - July 15, 1973: Ryan throws second, most-dominant no-hitter


By Geoff Bilau - AngelsWin.com Senior Editor

Nolan Ryan pitched far more than one man's fair share of dominant games while wearing an Angels uniform, including all of those games with 10 or more strikeouts, six one-hitters and, of course, four no-hitters - none, perhaps, more dominating than this game in Detroit.

Two months to the day after tossing his first no-no in Kansas City, Ryan again seemed up to the task from the get-go. He struck out seven of the first 10 Tigers he faced, including fanning the side in the second inning.

A Vada Pinson sacrifice fly in the third inning gave the Angels an early 1-0 lead, but it would be all Ryan would have to work with for most of the game. On this day, it was plenty.

Ryan fanned the side in the fourth and added two more strikeouts in the fifth. In the seventh, he struck out the side again.

In the top of the eighth, the Angels erupted for five runs and the drama over who would win the game was mostly gone. But by this point, the focus had shifted to the zero in the Tigers' hit column and the 16 in their strikeout column.

Detroit went 1-2-3 in the bottom of the inning, the middle out coming on Ryan's strikeout of shortstop Ed Brinkman. It was Ryan's 17th strikeout of the game, the highest total of any of his no-hitters and one short of Bob Feller's American League record at the time.

After retiring Mickey Stanley on a groundout and Gates Brown on a soft liner to start the ninth, Ryan needed only to get 15-year veteran first baseman Norm Cash to seal the deal. Having struck out in each of his previous three plate appearances, Cash strode up to home plate carrying not his bat, but rather a table leg he'd grabbed from the Tigers clubhouse.

The umpire immediately ordered Cash to return with a regulation bat, an order to which he begrudgingly complied, telling the umpire it wasn't as if it mattered anyway.

With his regular bat, Cash hit a harmless pop up to Angels shortstop Rudy Meoli and Ryan completed the second no-hitter of his career.

"This was definitely a bigger thrill than the first one," Ryan said after the game. "I had better stuff today and I knew what a no-hitter meant. I was a little more nervous, but I probably had as good as stuff today as I've had all year."

Ryan thoroughly tamed the Tigers in 1973, finishing the season 4-0 with a 1.15 ERA and 44 strikeouts in 39 innings.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/DET/DET197307150.shtml


# 34 - April 19, 1966, Official Opening of Anaheim Stadium


By Geoff Bilau - AngelsWin.com Senior Editor

When the Los Angeles Angels were born in 1961, home was a more transient notion than a place for them to call their own.

They spent their inaugural season at tiny Wrigley Field, a former minor league ballpark ill suited for Major League play with its 345-foot power alleys and paltry 20,457 seating capacity. The next year, the Angels moved into newly constructed Dodger Stadium, or Chavez Ravine as the American Leaguers called it, where they appeared as sub lessees who got to use the field while the "real" tenants were away.

The Angels needed their own home.

In the ensuing years, Angels owner Gene Autry was courted by many southland cities, including a strong wooing from Long Beach, but eventually settled on Anaheim, which offered a 160-acre parcel near the intersection of three freeways. Ground was broken Aug. 31, 1964, on the $24 million facility, and 19 months later it was ready for the Angels to move in.

The new stadium featured 43,204 seats and outfield dimensions derived from a scientific study intended to insure offensive balance. But the real calling card was the $1 million "Big A" scoreboard in left field. At 230 feet, it was the tallest structure in Orange County at the time and featured a state-of-the-art video display that could not only show fans the score and lineups, but also lead cheers and highlight statistical milestones.

The Angels hosted the San Francisco Giants for a pre-season exhibition at their new stadium on April 9, 1966, during which Willie Mays hit the "unofficial" first home run in Anaheim Stadium history.

Ten days later, the stadium officially opened Major League play, with Tommy John and the White Sox facing off against Marcelino Lopez and the Angels. Outfielder Rick Reichardt connected for a solo home run, the stadium's first, in the second inning, giving the Angels a lead they'd hold until the sixth. But the Sox tied it on a Tommie Agee solo homer in the sixth and took the lead with two in the eighth to hand the Angels a 3-1 defeat in their home opener. Jim Fregosi's first inning double was the stadium's first hit.

The Angels notched their first Anaheim home victory the next night, defeating the White Sox, 4-3, in 11 innings.

The new location and facility were both a hit with fans. The Angels drew only 566,727 fans during the 1965 season at Chavez Ravine, but nearly tripled that figure to 1.4 million their first year in Anaheim.

Since that first season, the venue has hosted the 1967, 1989 and 2010 MLB All-Star Game and the 2006 World Baseball Classic. It has also witnessed Hall of Fame achievements such as Don Sutton's 300th victory, Rod Carew's and George Brett's 3,000th hits, and Reggie Jackson's 500th home run. While tenants in Anaheim/Edison Field/Angel Stadium, the Angels have won eight division titles and one World Series Championship.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CAL/CAL196604190.shtml


#33 - June 2, 2004: Guerrero's monster night


By Adam Dodge - AngelsWin.com Senior Writer

If 2004 was the "Year of Vlad," then June 2 was Independence Day, Christmas morning and New Years Eve all rolled into one. Vladimir Guerrero won the 2004 American League MVP in large part due to his monstrous performances down the stretch, but there was no better day for Bad Vlad than the one he gave the Angels against the Boston Red Sox in early June.

With Red Sox ace and future Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez on the mound, runs would certainly seem to be at a premium. Unfortunately for Pete and the Sox, no one told Vladdy, who torched Boston, driving in nine runs, a Angels franchise record at the time, to lead the Angels to a 10-7 victory.

Guerrero got started early, hitting a two-run homer to left field in the first.

With the score knotted, 2-2, in the bottom of the third, Guerrero stepped to the plate with two men on and laced a double into left, scoring both Chone Figgins and David Eckstein.

Down, 7-4, in the fourth inning, Guerrero came up with the bases loaded and lined a ball sharply to Red Sox right fielder Kevin Millar. Bengie Molina scored on the sacrifice fly. It was Boston 7, Guerrero 5.

With the Angels still trailing in the bottom of the sixth inning by the same 7-5 score, Guerrero once again entered the batter's box, this time with two men on, and ripped a Mike Timlin offering just over the green wall in left center field. Guerrero's three-run shot and second home run of the game gave the Angels an 8-7 lead. Guerrero had driven in all eight Angels runs.

An inning later, after an Eckstein hit-and-run double into right center field scored Bengie Molina from first base - one of the game's other miraculous events - Figgins singled, setting the table for Guerrero to drive in his team-record ninth RBI of the game. Guerrero delivered with a sharp single just out of the reach of Boston shortstop Pokie Reese to push Eckstein home for the fourth time in the game.

As a fan in attendance at the Big A that night, I can honestly say it was the single greatest performance I'd ever seen on a baseball field. I was glad to share the moment with my father from the right field terrace section.

A little later in the list, we'll feature the man who broke Guerrero's record.

Stay tuned.


#32 - May 17, 1989: Rookie Abbott bests Clemens


By Geoff Bilau - AngelsWin.com Senior Editor

No Angels draft pick arrived with more notoriety and instantaneous fan support than Jim Abbott. Even before the team made the lefthander its first-round pick (No. 8 overall) in the June 1988 amateur draft, Abbott was already known outside of strictly baseball circles. And when he led the 1988 U.S. Olympic team to the gold medal at the Summer Games in Seoul, Korea, he became a household name.

His exploits on the baseball field, of course, lent to Abbott's celebrity, but not as much as the fact he accomplished all of them without a right hand. Born with a genetic defect, Abbott overcame his disability and became an inspiration to thousands of children and adults living with disabilities around the world.

Following the 1988 draft and Olympics, Abbott arrived at Angels spring training in Palm Springs, Calif., having never thrown a pitch as a professional. There was some question entering camp as to where Abbott, 26-8 in three years at the University of Michigan, would begin the season: in the minor leagues or in the Angels rotation?

When the Angels broke camp, they took Abbott with them to Anaheim, making him the 15th player to make his professional debut in the Major Leagues. Abbott lost his first start, 7-0, April 8 at home to future teammate Mark Langston and the Seattle Mariners. He earned his first victory April 24 at home against the Baltimore Orioles.

Heading into his May 17 match up in Anaheim with two-time Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens, Abbott had experienced mixed results, entering with a 2-3 record and 4.50 ERA. Had the Angels misjudged the lefty's preparedness for big league hitters? Did he need more seasoning in the minor leagues?

Abbott answered both questions with a resounding "No."

The Red Sox went down in order in the first and Clemens retired Angels leadoff hitter Claudell Washington on a strikeout to start the Angels half. But then Johnny Ray and Devon White singled and Wally Joyner drew a two-out walk to load the bases for Chili Davis, who doubled down the left field line to clear the bases. Catcher Lance Parrish followed with a blast to deep left field, giving Abbott and the Angels a 5-0 first inning lead.

Clemens began the third inning by issuing a walk to Brian Downing and single to Joyner before being pulled for reliever Dennis Lamp. The outing was the shortest of Clemens' career to that point.

Abbott, on the other hand, was dominant. He got into a two-on, one-out jam in the fourth, but Jim Rice lined into a double play to end the inning. Only two Red Sox reached base the rest of the game.

As Abbott came out to pitch the ninth inning, the Anaheim Stadium crowd of 31,230 stunned fans rose to its feet to cheer the rookie on. Not only had the mighty Roger Clemens been rudely dispatched in the third inning, but also the kid for whom everybody liked so much to cheer was three outs from his first complete game and shutout.

The inning began with a Wade Boggs come backer that Abbott was unable to field cleanly for an infield hit. The crowd briefly stirred, wondering if the miscue would throw off Abbott's concentration. Their fears were soon quelled, however, as Abbott used his cut fastball to induce Marty Barrett into a 5-4-3 double play.

And when Ellis Burks grounded out to third, the crowd erupted. Abbott (9 IP, 4 H, 2 BB, 4 K) had the shutout, Clemens lost for the first time at Anaheim Stadium and the Angels improved to 26-13 on the year. With the shutout, the Angels' ninth of the season, Abbott lowered his ERA almost a full run to 3.56.

For Abbott, it was the best game of a rookie season that saw him post a 12-12 record with a 3.92 ERA, good for fifth in A.L. Rookie of the Year voting. The 21-year-old had proven he belonged in the big leagues and would soon cement his status as a fan favorite with his infectious smile, selfless personality, inspirational attitude and, oh yeah, some pretty darn good pitching in subsequent seasons with the Angels.

But for this fan, the night Abbott beat Clemens will always be one of the greatest moments in Angels history.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CAL/CAL198905170.shtml


#31 - 1986: The Birth of Wally World


By David Saltzer - AngelsWin.com Senior Writer

When Wallace Keith “Wally” Joyner started the season in 1986, he had some big shoes to fill. Those shoes belonged to future Hall of Famer Rod Carew, who retired at the conclusion of the 1985 season. Wearing uniform No. 21, no one knew how the baby-faced 23-year-old lefty would do.

On April 9, Joyner hit his first home run off Seattle’s Mark Langston in just his second game as a Major Leaguer. Angels fans immediately embraced the rookie. Chants of “WAL-LY! WAL-LY! WAL-LY!” broke out during every one of his at-bats. Anaheim Stadium soon became known as “Wally World” to the fans and media.

For six weeks, Joyner ruled the American League, slugging 16 home runs by May 26. Joyner also had a knack for timely hitting to go with his surprising power. He played spectacular defense and had a wholesome, infectious smile.

Joyner became a national sensation, as he reached 20 home runs by the All-Star break. He became the first rookie ever voted as a starter in the All-Star Game. Joyner batted third for the American League in 1986 and tied the Mets’ Darryl Strawberry for the most home runs in the All-Star Home Run Derby.

Joyner finished up 1986 with a .290/.348/.457 line on the year with 22 home runs and 100 RBI. A staph infection, suffered in early August, sapped his strength for the rest of the season. The illness required Joyner to be hospitalized after Game 3 of the American League Championship Series and he missed the rest of the series. In one of the more controversial Rookie of the Year votes, Joyner finished second to Jose Canseco.

In 1987, Joyner had his best year, posting a .285/.366/.528 line with 34 home runs and 117 RBI. He became the ninth player in Major League history to have back-to-back 100 RBI seasons at the start of his career.

Following the 1992 season, Joyner signed as a free agent with the Kansas City Royals. He played for four years with the Royals before they traded him to the San Diego Padres. After four years in San Diego, he was traded to the Atlanta Braves. Finally, in 2001, he returned to the Angels, where he retired on June 16, 2001.

As an Angel, Joyner ranks ninth in RBI, 10th in doubles, 11th in at-bats, 12th in hits, batting average and home runs, and 13th in slugging percentage and runs scored. Defensively, amongst all Angels first basemen, he ranks first in total chances, put outs, assists and double plays, and had a career .994 fielding percentage.

Anaheim Stadium has had many names over the years, but none have been as fun as the time when it was called “Wally World” and echoed with chants of “WAL-LY! WAL-LY! WAL-LY!”

http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CAL/CAL198905170.shtml


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