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Four-Time Club MVP Spent 53 Years in Pro Ball

ANAHEIM, CABobby Knoop, an All-Star role model for the Angels on and off the field both as a player and a coach, has announced his retirement after 53 years in professional baseball.

One of the original Angels stars during the team’s first decade of existence, he was a four-time recipient of the Owner’s Trophy, presented annually to the Club’s Most Valuable Player.  He, Garret Anderson and Mike Trout are the only Angels to win the award four times.

Knoop played six seasons with the Angels from 1964-69 and combined with Jim Fregosi to form one of the most formidable double-play tandems in all of Major League Baseball.  The duo claimed Gold Gloves in 1967, the second of three such honors for Knoop.

He led the American League in triples in 1966 with 11, while also appearing as a starter for the American League All-Star team.  On May 1, 1966, he established a Major League record with six double-plays by a second baseman in a nine-inning game, and tied another by finishing the doubleheader that day with a total of eight.

Originally signed by the Milwaukee Braves as an amateur free agent prior to the 1956 season, Knoop was drafted by the Angels from the Braves in the December, 1963 Rule 5 Draft.  In his first season with the Angels a year later, he played in each of the club’s 162 games.

When his playing career concluded, Knoop managed two seasons in the club’s farm system, before spending 18 campaigns as a Major League coach from 1979-1996.  His final stint with the organization as a Special Assignment Infield Coach stretched from 2013-2018. 

Following is a look at his career time-line:

1956                       Signed by Milwaukee Braves as an amateur free agent.

1963                       Rule V Draft selection by the Angels from Braves.

1964                       Made Major League debut for Angels.

1964-69                 Played for Angels

1969-70                 Played for Chicago White Sox

1971-72                 Played for Kansas City Royals

1975                       Began coaching career with Angels, started as a Minor League instructor before managing Quad Cities of the Midwest League

1976                       Managed El Paso in the Texas League

1977-78                 Major League coach for Chicago White Sox

1979-96                 Returned to Angels as a third base coach (interim manager for two games in 1994)

2000                       Joined Blue Jays as first base coach

2008                       Scout for Colorado Rockies

2009-12                 Senior Advisor, Player Development for Colorado

2013                       Inducted Into Angels Hall of Fame

2013-18                 Special Assignment Infield Coach for Angels

Bobby’s passion for baseball and the Angels has been well-known throughout the industry.  His knowledge of the game and opinions has been sought out from across the spectrum of front office personnel, players and staff.  He remains one of baseball’s true gentlemen, whose sage advice, heartfelt opinions and love of the game continues to be respected across the generations.

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I grew up with Bobby at 2nd base and still have very fond memories of those early Angels teams. They were a group of good guys that played the game hard. I had no idea he was still active in the organization.

Enjoy your retirement Bobby, and thanks!

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Probably the most fun I've ever had at a baseball game, was thanks to Bobby Knoop and the Yankees fans. I was at the old Yankee Stadium for a game between the Angels and Yankees, late 90s. We were sitting in the lower deck by 3rd base, and Bobby Knoop was the Third Base coach. Yanks were getting killed, and the fans were getting drunk and obnoxious. They started busting Bobby's balls, constantly yelling out to him. "Hey Ka-Noop, do something". So after a while, he starts joking around, dancing to the stadium music, making faces, etc... Everyone is cracking up laughing. Finally, he came over to the wall, and our section gives him a standing ovation. He points to me, since I was the only one with an Angels jersey on, and the crowd starts to boo me. All in good fun though. Great night. 

Now it's an inside joke with my friends, whenever we see someone we know standing around, we say "Come on Knoop, do something"

Edited by NJHalo
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