- Aug. 18, 2009: Nine Times .300
Geoff Bilau - AngelsWin.com Senior Editor
top of the fifth inning of their Aug. 18 game at Jacobs Field
in Cleveland, Angels catcher Mike Napoli smashed a line drive
single into center field off Indians starter Fausto Carmona.
It was Napoli's second hit of the game, lifting his batting
average to .302.
Napoli popped up and struck out in his final two at-bats of
the Angels 5-4 victory, his average at the game's conclusion
was .300. While it's always noteworthy when a batter (especially
a career .256 hitter) eclipses the magical .300 mark, this
particular moment was altogether monumental. Napoli was just
one of nine Angels hitters who finished that game with a batting
average of .300 or better.
last only those final four innings and the time leading up
to the next day's game — Angels manager Mike Scioscia
inserted .275 hitting Howie Kendrick for .300 hitting Izturis
and Napoli flew out to left field after walking twice, dropping
his average back to .299 — but it was historic, however
fleeting as it may have been.
to the Elias Sports Bureau, it marked the first time since
1934 that any Major League team at least 100 games into its
season finished a game with every player in its starting lineup
hitting .300 or better. Mickey Cochrane's Tigers accomplished
the feat Sept. 9, 1934, against Boston — which was all
the more impressive considering pitcher Lynwood "Schoolboy"
Rowe and his .301 average was batting ninth. The Tigers lineup
that day included four Hall of Famers (Cochrane, Hank Greenberg,
Charlie Gehringer, Goose Goslin) and two All-Stars (Rowe,
hitting heroics helped rookie starter Trevor Bell win his
first Major League game — one that he and Angels fans
won't soon forget.
- July 29, 1997: Chuck Finley becomes all-time Angels leader
Lou Garcia - AngelsWin.com Contributor
to Win!" And he did. More than any other pitcher in Angels
franchise history, passing Nolan Ryan with victory No.139.
Tuesday evening, July 29,1997, when Chuck Finley took the
mound in Cleveland to face an Indian lineup that included
Manny Ramirez, Sandy Alomar Jr. and Matt Williams. In the
bottom of the second inning, Finley gave up two runs on three
hits the only runs or hits he would surrender on the
night en route to a 7-2 complete game victory. Jack Howell
homered twice to pace the Halos.
of 42,975 at Jacobs Field, Finley upped his record to 10-6
on the season, but more importantly, he had just notched victory
No. 139, surpassing Nolan Ryan as the team leader in career
All-Star, Finley ended his Angels career with 165 wins
a record that still stands (and should for several more seasons
John Lackey is the team's active leader with 79 victories.)
Finley Trivia - Finley is the only Major League pitcher to
strike out 4 batters in one inning more than once, accomplishing
the feat 3 times (twice as an Angel).
Angels IP H R ER BB SO
C Finley, W (10-6) 9 3 2 2 2 9
- June 18, 2007: Figgins Experiences the Joy of Six
Adam Dodge - AngelsWin.com Senior Writer
Figgins spent all but the last day of April on the disabled
list, batted .156 in May and finished the season in an 0-for-21
slump. How then, one may ask, could 2007 have possibly been
a breakout season for the Angels' de facto third baseman?
31 until Sept. 22 - the time between his less-than-stellar
bookends - Figgins batted .403 (135/335), a span of 83 games
where the speedy lead off man reached base in 46 percent of
his plate appearances. Despite his early and late woes, Figgins
finished with a .330/.393/.432 season, his batting average
the seventh highest in Angels history. He also earned MVP
votes for the third time in his career. Not too shabby for
a guy that's never made an American League All-Star team.
was the year Figgins entered baseball stardom, then it was
the night of June 18 that his star shined the brightest. Figgins
went 6-for-6, leading the Los Angeles Angels to a 10-9 comeback
victory over the Houston Astros at Angel Stadium.
if just going 6-for-6 wasn't spectacular enough, Figgins'
final hit was a ninth inning, walk-off triple down the right
field line, scoring Reggie Willits from first base to complete
the Angels' comeback.
was trying to catch Reggie. That way, at least I'd know he
would score," Figgins said with a laugh.
ending the game in such dramatic fashion was the only thing
that prevented Figgins from a 7-for-7 or 8-for-8 night - Astros
pitchers sure couldn't slow him down. As it stood, Figgins'
six hits in one game tied Garret Anderson's team record, which
had been set in 1996.
finished his brilliant night with four singles, a double and
his game-ending triple.
is one of those special games," Figgins said. "You
can't explain it. You just stay within yourself. The thing
about it was that the game was close, so it made you concentrate
even more to get a hit."
indeed a special game for Figgins, one that highlighted the
best month of his relatively young career. Figgins collected
a Major League best 53 hits in June, the most by any player
in Angels' history during one calendar month. Figgins also
led Major League baseball in June with a .461 batting average.
was his 1.000 average on June 18 that landed him on our list.
don't think I ever did that in a video game, much less in
a professional game," Figgins said.
April 27-28, June 9, 2002: Eckstein is thrice grand
Geoff Bilau - AngelsWin.com Senior Editor
No way! YES!
reactions to three grand slams. More specifically, three grand
slams hit over a six-week span of the 2002 season by diminutive
shortstop David Eckstein, the first two coming in consecutive
these home runs would be justifiably overshadowed by some
slightly bigger wallops by Ecksteins teammates later
in the season, but if 2002 is remembered as a magical season
for the Angels, this is where the magic started.
the season 6-14 on the heels of a 2001 campaign that saw the
Angels finish 41 games out of first place, Anaheim seemed
anything but magical as 2002 began. A 10-6 win at Seattle
on April 24, snapped a four-game losing streak and the Angels
headed home with at least a small puff of wind in their sails.
again, Kevin Appier and three relievers combined on a 9-hit
shutout over Toronto to provide a little more momentum. What
happened the next two days, however, is the stuff people tell
their grandkids about.
second game of the Toronto series, the Angels went to the
bottom of the fifth inning tied, 4-4. RBI-hits by Troy Glaus
and Brad Fullmer, and a run-scoring groundout by Bengie Molina
gave the Angels a three-run lead. And following a walk to
Scott Spiezio, Eckstein put the game away.
On a 1-2
pitch from Scott Cassidy, Eckstein snuck one just over the
short wall in left field, near the foul pole, for a grand
slam and an 11-4 lead. It was the Angels biggest inning of
the season to that point, Ecksteins first home run and
only the fifth of his career.
later, things went from surprising to just plain silly. A
back-and-forth game saw the Angels and Blue Jays tied, 4-4,
in the 14th inning. Toronto finally broke the deadlock with
a run in the top of the inning, however, and the Angels run
of bad luck appeared to have returned. But Glaus led off with
a single and Salmon doubled him to third. A one-out intentional
walk to Molina loaded the bases, but Kennedy struck out, leaving
it up to Eckstein.
6-inch shortstop took a 1-1 offering from Pedro Borbon Jr.
to nearly the same exact spot in left field for a second grand
slam in as many days, this one a walkoff shot that gave the
Angels their first three-game winning streak of the season
and, finally, some serious swagger. Two days later, theyd
defeat the Indians, 21-2, in Cleveland and not look back in
winning 21 of 24 games following their 6-14 start.
Angels magic in full swing now, it was only fitting that Eckstein
had one more trick up his sleeve. On June 9, in the second
inning of an interleague game against the Cincinnati Reds,
Eckstein again came to the plate with the bases loaded. No
sooner than you could think, He couldnt possibly
do it again, could he? he did it again.
dont know if one time is better than another for a home
run, Angels manager Mike Scioscia said, ... but
(Eckstein) has hit them at three times which have been incredible
and have won three games for us.
became only the second Angel ever to hit three grand slams
in one season. Joe Rudi did it in both 1978 and 1979. Of course,
Rudi hit 179 home runs in his career. Eckstein has 30.
they say about big things coming in small packages
in 2002, David Eckstein proved it.
Sept 14, 2008: K-Rod breaks single season saves record
Bruce Nye - AngelsWin.com Columnist
League Baseball began recording the save statistic in 1969,
measuring the number of times a relief pitcher meets a specific
set of requirements. The official scorer shall credit a save
when a pitcher:
is the finishing pitcher in a game won by his team;
• is not the winning pitcher;
• is credited with at least one-third of an inning pitched;
one of the following conditions:
the pitcher entered the game with a lead of no more than three
runs and pitched for at least one inning, or
• he entered the game, regardless of the count, with
the potential tying run either on base, at bat or on deck,
• he pitched for at least three innings
Francisco “K-ROD” Rodriguez saved 62 of the Angels
franchise-best 100 victories, surpassing former White Sox
closer Bobby Thigpen's record of 57 on September 14th, a record
which stood for 18 years.
child of a poor Venezuelan family, who had previously set
the Angels franchise mark with 47 saves in 2006, put his name
in the MLB record books.
lot of people back home have been rooting for me to break
the record," Rodriguez said. "It's very important
for my people, my country to get that record."
recorded 208 saves during his seven-year career with the Angels,
but will always be remembered for his amazing debut in 2002,
when he won five of 11 postseason appearances en route to
the Angels winning the World Series. Rodriguez was a three-time
All-Star with the Angels.
his historic 2008 season, Rodriguez became a free agent and
signed a multi-year contract with the New York Mets.
April 3-Oct 1, 2000: Angels become first AL franchise
with four 30-home run hitters
Adam Dodge - AngelsWin.com Senior Writer
past few seasons, the Angels have entered Spring Training
with seemingly just one concern a general lack of home
run power throughout the lineup. Some fans, specifically those
who jumped on the 2002 bandwagon, may forget that just eight
short years ago the Angels, in manager Mike Scioscias
first season with the club, fielded an historic group of sluggers.
Angels third baseman Troy Glaus led the American League with
47 home runs. Glaus became only the third Angel ever to lead
the league (Grich, 1981; Jackson, 1982) and at the time set
the record for most home runs by an AL third baseman (tied
by Alex Rodriguez in 2005 and surpassed by Rodriguez last
complement Glaus, the Angels had not one, not two, but three
others who hit more than 30 home runs, becoming the first
team in the AL to have four players hit 30 or more round trippers.
clubbed 36, Garret Anderson walloped 35 and Tim Salmon rounded
the bases 34 times. (And if that wasnt enough power
for you, Darin Erstad added 25 homers from the leadoff spot,
just for good measure.)
clubs power fit hand in glove with the newly born Rally
Monkey, as a significant chunk of the Angels 82 victories
were of the come-from-behind variety, due in large part to
the teams power surge.
the 2000 Angels fell short of the postseason, the team did
inject hope into a suffering fan base, a hope that would be
realized just two years later when the Angels won the World
July 6, 1983: Lynn simply grand in the All-Star Game
Kurt Swanson - AngelsWin.com Contributor
first 40 years of the Los Angeles/California/Anaheim Angels
history, the 1982 season was arguably the franchises
best albeit one with a real stinker of an ending.
the collapse in Milwaukee, however, was a fine campaign. The
Angels won their second division title with a 93-69 record;
Reggie Jackson led the league in home runs with 39; and Fred
Lynn, acquired the year before, but sidelined by injuries,
had his best season with the Angels, batting .299/.374/.517
with 21 home runs and 86 RBI.
the Angels blew a 2-0 lead in the ALCS against the Brewers,
Lynn was still named series MVP after batting .611 (11-for-18)
in the five games.
heels of the 1982 season, 1983 was a season of great promise
for the Angels. It was not to be, however, as the team slumped
badly to a 70-92 record and a fifth-place finish in the division.
spot was Lynn. The USC graduate, who had longed to play for
a team in Southern California after beginning his career in
Boston, was voted to start the All-Star Game in Chicago. Old
Comiskey Park played host to the 50th anniversary of the mid-summer
classic. The nod represented Lynns ninth consecutive
All-Star game appearance.
third inning, with the National League trailing 3-1, San Francisco
ace Atlee Hammaker elected to load the bases by intentionally
walking Milwaukees Robin Yount, taking his chances instead
with Lynn, who hadnt seen the batter in front of him
intentionally walked since becoming a professional. Big mistake.
a 2-2 slider from the lefty and deposited it into the right
field bleachers for the first grand slam in 54 All-Star Games.
(And to this day the only such home run.)
League scored seven runs in the inning and cruised to a 13-3
victory, snapping an 11-game losing streak for the junior
hadnt won a single All-Star Game in eight years up until
that point, Lynn would later say. That grand slam
put us up 7-1, and I knew we wouldnt blow that lead.
I didnt care that they walked Robin to get to me. I
wanted to win.
Lynns final All-Star appearance. He finished with four
home runs and 10 RBI in 20 career All-Star at-bats. At the
time, only Hall of Famers Stan Musial and Ted Williams had
more home runs and RBI, respectively. Musial finished with
five homers and 10 RBI in 63 at-bats, Williams with four homers
and 12 RBI in 46 at-bats.
July 14-15, 2003: GA steals the All-Star show
Geoff Bilau - AngelsWin.com Senior Editor
Angels were to retroactively come up with a slogan for the
2003 season, it might have been Come bask in the afterglow
rolled around, and pennants were hoisted up gold painted flagpoles,
Angels fans were still drunk on World Series emotion. Only
trouble was the players seemed to be, as well.
sleepwalked through April, May and June and arrived at July
with a perfectly mediocre 40-40 record. But with fans flocking
to Edison Field in record numbers (attendance would surpass
3 million for the first time ever in 2003), most of them wearing
something bearing the words 2002 World Champions,
it was difficult to be too disappointed.
into the All-Star break, however, the team finally seemed
to recapture a little bit of the 2002 magic of which it was
constantly reminded on the scoreboard in right field. They
won nine of their first 12 games in July, including five straight
before the break. Sure, they were still 8.5 games out of first,
but it was better than the 12.5 deficit they faced when the
two amazing days at Chicagos U.S. Cellular Field, it
was like October all over again. The Angels had three players
selected to the American League squad: Garret Anderson, Troy
Glaus and Brendan Donnelly, the latter of whom was in the
midst of one of the best relief seasons in franchise history.
He hit the break with a 0.38 ERA, having given up only two
runs in 48 innings pitched.
of that, as American League champions the previous season,
Mike Scioscia was the A.L. manager, bringing his entire coaching
staff along with him. The Angels presence in Chicago was already
assured, but this contingent seemed determined to be seen
improbable of events actually occurred first; in hindsight
a harbinger of things to come. Garret Anderson, who hit 22
home runs in the first half of the season, beat out former
teammate Jim Edmonds in the semifinals and then 23-year-old
phenom Albert Pujols in the finals to win the Home Run Derby.
dont look at myself as a home run hitter, but I know
I'm capable of hitting the ball out of the park, Anderson
said. Its just another platform to go out and
show America what I can do.
show wasnt done, either. The next night, with the American
League trailing, 5-1, in the sixth inning, Anderson smoked
a two-run homer to right-center on Woody Williams first
pitch to pull the A.L. within two runs.
pitched a perfect top of the eighth to hold the N.L. lead
at 6-4. In the bottom half, Andersons one-out double
off the Dodgers Eric Gagne, his third hit of the night in
four at-bats, started a three-run rally that was capped by
Hank Blalocks game-winning two-run home run.
won, 7-6, Donnelly was the winning pitcher, Scioscia the winning
manager and Anderson named the games MVP, his second
trophy in as many nights.
an outstanding night and the perfect denouement to the championship
season. But, of course, all good things must come to an end,
and those two nights in Chicago were indeed the end of the
afterglow. The Angels lost their first five games after the
break and finished the season 77-85, in third place, 19 games
behind the As.
couple of days, however, the defending champs looked every
bit the part.
Oct. 30, 1999: Angels hire Bill Stoneman as GM
Craig Malone - AngelsWin.com Contributor
Daring! Bold! Risk-Taker! Words you will not see used when
describing Bill Stonemans reign as general manager of
the Anaheim/Los Angeles Angels. Stoneman didnt need
fancy words or daring risks; the former pitcher, who finished
his career with the same Angels 25 years earlier, needed to
rebuild a franchise from the ground up. He inherited a team
rich with turmoil, coming off a 70-92 record good enough for
a solid grasp on fourth place.
hiring of Stoneman, the Angels were looking to put a horrible
decade of baseball behind them, and looking hopefully toward
a brighter future. That future started with the hiring of
Mike Scioscia, who has now become the all-time winningest
manager in Angels history.
working with limited Disney resources, looked to build up
a farm system that consistently ranked near the bottom of
MLB. His first draft was not as successful as many would have
liked, with top pick Joe Torres barely making it out of A-ball.
But then along came a guy named Mike Napoli and things were
looking a little better. Over the years, with improved scouting,
Stoneman was able to draft guys like Casey Kotchman, Jeff
Mathis, Joe Saunders and Howie Kendrick, a group that forms
the young nucleus of the current team. More importantly, Stoneman
was able to open up scouting in the Dominican Republic and
convinced the accountants at Disney it was worth the money
to sign players like Francisco Rodriguez, Ervin Santana and
team surpassed expectations, thanks mostly to unprecedented
power from Troy Glaus, Mo Vaughn, Tim Salmon and Garret Anderson,
and an unbelievable season from Darin Erstad. In 2001, however,
the Angels slipped back to their losing ways and finished
41 games out of first place.
into the 2002 season, Stonemans biggest moves were signing
serviceable starter Aaron Sele and swapping Mo Vaughns
huge contract for Kevin Appiers. But it was the smaller
moves that illustrated Stonemans discerning eye for
talent: picking up David Eckstein, Ben Weber and Brendan Donnelly
off waivers; trading Kimera Bartee for Chone Figgins.
funny in a way that Stonemans legacy will undoubtedly
be centered around the World Championship in 2002, though
it is the accomplishment in which he perhaps had the smallest
hand. In reality, Stonemans presence was most felt during
the run of three division titles in four seasons from 2004-2007
(and, no doubt, for the next two or three seasons to come.)
It is the signing of Vladimir Guerrero, Bartolo Colon, Kelvim
Escobar and Jose Guillen in one eye-popping offseason; the
staring contest he won against Scott Boras in the Jered Weaver
negotiations; and the development of a farm system that is
the envy of baseball year in and year out.
chided for his refusal (or inability) to pull off trades perceived
to be necessary to the clubs success, Stonemans
record speaks for itself. During his eight-year tenure, the
Angels compiled a 703-593 (.542) record and appeared in the
postseason four times the team made just three playoff
appearances in the 39 years that preceded him.
took the Angels from obscurity and mediocrity to being recognized
as one of the elite franchises in all of baseball. He built
a model that many subsequent clubs have chosen to follow.
And he leaves behind some might big shoes for Tony Reagins
not, Stoneman slowly, methodically, conservatively and above
all else successfully served as the architect of the greatest
era in Angels history and will always hold a special place
in the hearts and minds of Angels fans.