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(Panini America)

(Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim)

2023 Season

Season Preview: The Angels have improved in 2023, but so has the rest of the AL West. The team can expect great years as always from Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani, but to make the playoffs they will need quality seasons from the supporting cast, including newcomers Hunter Refroe, Gio Urshela, Tyler Anderson, Carlos Estevez, and Brandon Drury. They join Antony Rendon, Jared Walsh, Taylor Ward,   and top prospect Logan O’Hoppe in what should be an exciting year in Anaheim.

2022 Season

Season Recap: How can a team with Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani finish with a losing record? The answer is that baseball is a team game, and these two superstars didn’t get much help in 2022 from their teammates. Ohtani had an amazing year on the mound and at the plate. He went 15–9 with 219 strikeouts and hit 34 homers, while Trout led the club with 40 home runs. Among the few standouts in the supporting cast were pitcher Reid Detmers, who threw a no-hitter against the Rays, and Taylor Ward, who blasted 23 home runs. To turn things around, the Angels will have to stay healthy and hope that help is coming from the minors in a year or two.

August 8, 2022: Shohei Ohtani became the first player since Babe Ruth to win 10 games and slug 10 homers in the same season.

June 19, 2022: Mike Trout set a new record when he hit the game-winning home run in each of the four games in a series against the Seattle Mariners.

May 10, 2022: Ray Detmers beat the Rays 12–0 without allowing a hit. He was just the 25th rookie in history to throw a no-hitter.

Season Preview: Can MVP Shohei Ohtani be better in 2022 than in 2021, when he had a once-in-a-lifetime season? If Ohtani makes it twice-in-a-lifetime—and if Mike Trout, Anthony Rendon, and Noah Syndergaard return to full health—the Angels will be a sure thing for the playoffs. The team will need solid seasons from the players supporting these stars, of course. The Anaheim bullpen shouldn’t be a problem, with several power relievers, led by Raisel Iglesias.

2021 Season

Season Recap: Shohei Ohtani had a season for the ages in 2021, but an injury to Mike Trout— which kept him off the field most of the year—prevented the Angles from playing winning baseball. Jared Walsh, Patrick Sandoval, David Fletcher and Raisel Iglesias showed they could contribute day-in and day-out, giving fans reason to hope for a playoff run in 2022.

August 28, 2021: Shohei Ohtani stole his 20th base of the season to go with 42 home runs. He is just the third AL player to join the “40–20 Club” before the beginning of September. The first two were Alex Rodriguez in 2007 and Ken Griffey Jr. in 1999.

July 7, 2021: Shohei Ohtani hit his 32nd home run of the year. He broke the record for homes runs hit by a Japanese-born player in one season, which had been held by Hideki Matsui since 2004.

July 02, 2021: Shohei Ohtani was named American League Player of the Month for June. He batted over .300 and slugged 13 homers. He also won two games as a pitcher.

Season Preview: Will this be the year that Mike Trout gets to show his stuff in a deep playoff run? That may depend in the health of two-way star Shoehi Ohtani and the work of new closer Raisel Iglesias. Veterans Alex Cobb and Jose Quintana join a pitching staff that includes Dylan Bundy and Andrew Heaney.

2020 Season

Season Recap: The Angels lost their opening game and never climbed above .500 in 2020. Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon had good years, but Shohei Ohtani did not. Starting pitchers Dylan Bundy, Griffin Canning, and Andrew Heaney were very good at times, however the Angles did not give them the support they needed.

September 13, 2020: Albert Pujols hit his 660th home run in a game against the Rockies. That tied him with Hall of Famer Willie Mays for 5th on the all-time home run list. Pujols is the only player in history with 650 home runs and 650 doubles.

September 5, 2020: Mike Trout hit the 300th home run of his career in a game against the Astros. Trout’s blast also set a new team record. All-Star Tim Salmon held the old record with 299.

Season Preview: The Angels go into battle with a “Big Four” of Mike Trout, Albert Pujols, Shohei Ohtani, and newcomer Anthony Rendon. They won’t have trouble scoring runs, but the pitching staff has a lot of question marks. The Angels will have to get big outs in pressure situations to give Trout his first shot at postseason baseball.

2019 Season

Season Recap: Mike Trout seemed like a sure thing for the AL MVP award until he was sidelined in September. The Angels were out of the Wild Card hunt by then, despite solid years from Cole Calhoun, David Fletcher, Andrelton Simmons, and Albert Pujols. Japanese sensation Shohei Otani hit well after an injury that kept him off the mound. The Angles could have used him: none of their starters lived up to his promise in 2019, and only reliever Hansel Robles had any kind of a breakthrough year.

June 13, 2019: Shohei Ohtani became the first Japanese player to hit for the cycle in a major league game.

May 9, 2019: Albert Pujols joined Hank Aaron and Alex Rodriguez as the only players with 2,000 RBIs.

Season Preview: Mike Trout signed a new contract and will be an Angel for a long, long time. Beyond their superstar outfielder, the team has some work to do. Shoei Ohtani will be a hitter and not a pitcher in 2019. Justin Upton has good power but hits in streaks. Albert Pujols has aching knees. All four could have great years—and shortstop Andrelton Simmons is the best defender in the AL West—but there are too many question marks to think the Angels can be more than an 80-win team.

2018 Season

Season Recap: The Angels ended the year two games under .500, but that was much better than most experts predicted. Injuries limited their exciting two-way star, Shohei Otani, to just 104 games, but during those games he hit 22 homers and had the lowest ERA among the team’s starting pitchers. The Angels also got big years from All-Star Mike Trout, Justin Upton and Andrelton Simmons.

October 1, 2018: Shohei Ohtani finished the season as he started it, winning AL Rookie of the Month honors.

September 20, 2018: Francisco Arcia became the first player to pitch, catch and hit a homer in the same game.

May 4, 2018: Albert Pujols singled against the Mariners to collect his 3,000th career hit. He is just the fourth player with 3,000 hits and 600 home runs. Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, and Alex Rodriguez are the three others.

Season Preview: The Angels have the biggest story in baseball headed into 2018: pitcher-DH Shohei Ohtani. If he plays as well for Los Angeles as he did in Japan, he will solve two big problems for the team. The Angels are a dangerous club now. A healthy Mike Trout plus sluggers Albert Pujols and Justin Upton—along with newcomers Ohtani and Ian Kinsler—give them great run-scoring potential. The Angels have a lot of options for the starting rotation, and a better-than-average bullpen.

2017 Season

Season Recap: Not much was expected of the Angels in 2017, so when the team found itself with a shot at the Wild Card Game, fans were thrilled that the team made deals to return to the playoffs after two seasons. Unfortunately, the Angels finished five games short of their goal. Mike Trout had another great year and Albert Pujols knocked in 100 runs for the 14th time in his career.

June 3, 2017: Albert Pujols belted his 600th career home run. He was the first member to join the “600 Club” with a grand slam.

2016 Season

November 1, 2016: Very little went right for the Angels in 2016. Albert Pujols and MVP Mike Trout were sensational, but they did not get any help from the rest of the batting order. Fans got a look at the future when Kaleb Cowart was called up, but most of the team’s top prospects were still two or three years away.

September 17, 2016: Albert Pujols reached 30 homers for the 14th time in his career. The only other players to do that are Hank Aaron, Barry Bonds and Alex Rodriguez.

2015 Season

October 6, 2015: The Angels were in the hunt for a Wild Card spot until the very end of the season, but lost out to the Astros by one game. Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and Kyle Calhoun paced the offense, while Garrett Richards and Houston Street led the pitching staff. Trout set a new personal record with 41 homers and led the AL with a .590 slugging average.

July 27, 2015: Albert Pujols stole the 100th base of his career. He joined Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, and Hank Aaron as the only players with 100 steals, 500 home runs, and a .300 batting average.

July 14, 2015: Mike Trout was named MVP of the All-Star Game for the second year in a row.

April 17, 2015: Mike Trout became the youngest player ever to reach 100 homers and 100 steals in his career. He beat Alex Rodriguez’s record by 53 days.

April 5, 2015: The Angels start the year as the team to beat in their division. Mike trout and Albert Pujols give the team the best one-two punch in the league. If pitcher Garrett Richards returns to form after a knee injury, the Angels will also have a solid one-two pitching punch, along with 18-game winner Jered Weaver.

2014 Season

November 15, 2014: Mike Trout was named AL Most Valuable Player. Trout was runner-up for the award in 2012 and 2013. He and Mickey Mantle are the only players to finish second twice and then win the award a year later.

October 30, 2014: The Angels won 98 games in 2014 and finished with the best record in the American League. Mike Trout and Albert Pujols powered the offense, while Jered Weaver led a solid pitching staff. The Angels looked like a sure bet to win the pennant, but in the Division Series against the Royals, they lost the first two games at home in extra innings, and dropped the third and final game of the series to end their season.

September 28, 2014: Mike Trout finished the year as the AL leader with 111 RBIs, 338 total bases, 84 extra-base hits, and 115 runs scored. He also led the league with 184 strikeouts.

September 1, 2014: Matt Shoemaker was named AL Pitcher of the Month for August. He had appeared in just one big-league game before this season.

April 22, 2014: Albert Pujols became the 26th player in history to reach 500 home runs. He his two homers against the Nationals that day, numbers 499 and 500.

March 31, 2014: Anaheim has the best all-around player in the AL in Mike Trout and two of history’s great sluggers in Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton. If they all stay healthy and do what’s expected, the Angels will be a contender. They’ll need help from Howie Kendrick and newcomer David Freese, because pitching stars C.J. Wilson and Jered Weaver can’t win 90 games by themselves.

2013 Season

October 1, 2013: Despite a power-packed lineup, the Angels started the year slowly and were never able to catch the AL West front-runners. Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo put up big numbers, but Josh Hamilton and Albert Pujols had off-years. CJ Wilson, Jered Weaver , and Ernesto Frieri led the pitching staff.

May 21, 2013: Mike Trout collected a single, double, triple, and home run in a victory over the Seattle Mariners. He became the youngest player in AL history to hit for the cycle.

March 30, 2013: The big news in Anaheim over the winter was the arrival of slugger Josh Hamilton. Along with Mike Trout and Albert Pujols, he gives the Angels a power-packed lineup. Anything less than 95–100 victories will be a big disappointment for the fans in 2013.

2012 Season

October 3, 2012: Angels fans were disappointed to finish third in the AL West, but happy to have baseball’s most exciting young star, Mike Trout. He gave the team a boost of energy, with 30 homers, 49 steals, and 129 runs in only 139 games. Trout fell a handful of hits shy of winning the batting championship. Trout was so good that a lot of baseball fans failed to notice the great pitching of Jered Weaver, who went 20–5.

September 25, 2012: Five Anaheim pitchers combined to strike out 20 Seattle Mariners in a nine-inning game. It was just the fourth time in history a team had done this. Zack Greinke fanned 13 Seattle hitters in just five innings of work!

July 30, 2012: Kendrys Morales became the third player in history to hit home runs lefty and righty in the same inning. Carlos Baerga and Mark Bellhorn are the only other players to accomplish this feat.

July 27, 2012: The Angels welcomed Zach Greinke to their pitching staff after a trade with the Milwaukee Brewers. Anaheim gave up their prized minor-league prospect, Jean Segura, in the trade.

May 2, 2012: Jered Weaver threw a no-hitter against the Minnesota Twins. It was the 10th “no-no” in team history, including four by Nolan Ryan.

April, 2012: Mike Trout was recently rated as the #1 outfield prospect in the American League. With Albert Pujols joining the team in 2012, it may be harder for the Angels to find a place for Trout to play. Mike Trumbo will be the DH, and veterans Vernon Wells and Torii Hunter will play left and right field. Can Trout play center field? We’ll see in Spring Training!

More Go-To Guys

This card shows Leon Wagner in his final year with the Angels. After he retired, he acted in the movie The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings(Topps, Inc.)

Frank Tanana was hot stuff during the 1970s when this Sporting News came out. After he lost his good fastball, Tanana was still successful using all of his other pitches. (The Sporting News)

If you weren’t around to see how hot Wally Joyner was in 1986, there is no way to understand it. The Angels barely missed winning the pennant that year. If “Wally World” had played in the World Series, who knows how it might have turned out? (Baseball Cards Magazine)

Troy Glaus takes a big cut. He knocked in 100 runs three years in a row for the Angels. (Black Book Partners)

  • Leon Wagner — Outfielder
    Born: 5/13/1934
    Died: 1/2/1934
    Played for Team: 1961 to 1963
    After waiting many years for an opportunity to play, Leon Wagner got his chance when he joined the Angels in their first season. He hit 91 homers in three years and was named MVP of the All-Star Game in 1962. Wagner loved playing for the Angels and was very disappointed when they traded him for Joe Adcock.

  • Andy Messersmith — Pitcher
    Born: 8/6/1945
    Played for Team: 1968 to 1972
    Andy Messersmith was just the third 20-game winner in team history. In five years with the Angels, his ERA was 2.78. Messersmith had one the best change-ups in the game. He made great hitters look silly waving helplessly at his off-speed pitches.

  • Frank Tanana — Pitcher
    Born: 7/3/1953
    Played for Team: 1973 to 1980
    Frank Tanana threw harder than anyone in baseball except for one person, his teammate Nolan Ryan. Tanana threw in the high 90s and had a sharp-breaking curve. In 1975, he struck out 17 batters in a game.

  • Doug DeCinces — Third Baseman
    Born: 8/29/1950
    Played for Team: 1982 to 1987
    The Baltimore Orioles traded Doug DeCinces to the Angels to make room for Cal Ripken Jr., and almost immediately wanted him back. In DeCinces’s first year with the Angels, he batted .301 with 30 homers and finished third in the AL MVP voting. He hit 130 homers playing for California.

  • Mike Witt — Pitcher
    Born: 7/20/1960
    Played for Team: 1981 to 1990
    Mike Witt was one of the game’s tallest players when he joined the Angels at the age of 20. It took several years for him to gain control of his pitches, but once he did he was almost unhittable. Witt had a good fastball and great curve. On the final day of the 1984 season, he pitched a perfect game.

  • Wally Joyner — First Baseman
    Born: 6/16/1962
    Played for Team: 1986 to 1991
    Wally Joyner had an amazing rookie season in 1986. He broke up two no-hitters, was voted onto the All-Star team, and led the Angels to the AL West championship. Joyner hit 22 homers and led the team with 100 RBIs.

  • Chuck Finley — Pitcher
    Born: 11/26/1962
    Played for Team: 1986 to 1999
    Chuck Finley used a fastball and sinker to win 15 or more games for the Angels six times from 1989 to 1996. He struck out more than 2,000 batters in his 14 years with the club.

  • Darin Erstad — Outfielder/First Baseman
    Born: 6/4/1974
    Played for Team: 1996 to 2006
    No Angel played harder or hustled more than Darin Erstad. In 2000, he had one of the greatest seasons in team history. Erstad batted .355 with 28 home runs and 100 RBIs, and led the AL with 240 hits.

  • Troy Glaus — Third Baseman
    Born: 8/3/1976
    Played for Team: 1998 to 2005
    Troy Glaus was a patient and powerful hitter who rewrote the team record books. In 2000, he led the AL in home runs at the age of 23. Two seasons later, he led the Angles to the championship. That year Glaus hit seven home runs and knocked in 13 runs in the playoffs and World Series.

  • John Lackey — Pitcher
    Born: 10/23/1978
    Played for Team: 2002 to 2009
    John Lackey led the AL in shutouts three times and was the ERA champion in 2007. He won more than 100 games for the Angels.

  • Francisco Rodriguez — Pitcher
    Born: 1/7/1982
    Played for Team: 2002 to 2008
    Francisco Rodriguez used a blazing fastball and hard-to-hit change-up to become the top relief pitcher in baseball. He led the AL in saves three times with the Angels and set a record with 62 saves in 2008.

  • Mike Trout — Outfielder
    Born: 8/7/1991
    First Season with Team: 2011
    Mike Trout won MVP awards in 2014, 2016, and 2019. His sensational hitting, base running, and fielding earned him a spot in the All-Star Game each year from 2012 to 2019 and made him the game’s finest all-around player.

More Fun Facts

Clyde Wright signed this 1972 trading card. It is the only one I can think of that shows a pitcher fielding as opposed to pitching. (Topps, Inc.)

    In 1981, Bobby Grich led the American League in home runs. The last time a second baseman had led the AL in homers was Napoleon Lajoie, in 1901—the very first year of the league!

  • BABE & ME
    In 2002, young John Lackey was picked to pitch Game 7 of the World Series against the San Francisco Giants. He won the game 4–1. The only other rookie to start and win Game 7 of the World Series was Babe Adams of the Pittsburgh Pirates, in 1909.

    After a disappointing 1969 season, the Angels cut pitcher Clyde Wright. Shortstop Jim Fregosi begged the team to reconsider. The Angels listened, and Wright had a season for the ages in 1970. He became the first Angels lefty to win 20 games and also pitched a no-hitter.

    Chuck Finley’s split-fingered fastball dipped so sharply on its way to home plate that hitters couldn’t hit it—and catchers often couldn’t catch it. In 1999 and again in 2000, Finley struck out four batters in an inning. Each time, one of the batters ran safely to first base after the catcher missed the ball he swung at.

    Darin Erstad used his powerful legs to steal bases and track down fly balls with the Angels. In college, he was the star punter for the University of Nebraska’s 1994 national championship football team.

League Leaders

Alex Johnson won the batting title in 1970. He beat out my favorite player, Carl Yastrzemski, by one hit so I didn’t like him. Later I found out he was the brother of my favorite football player, Ron Johnson of the New York Giants, so I liked him a little more. (Topps, Inc.)

John Lackey leaps from the dugout as the Angels win the 2002 World Series. (Time Inc./Sports Illustrated)

  • Home Runs
    1981 — Bobby Grich — 22*
    1982 — Reggie Jackson — 39
    2000 — Troy Glaus — 47

    * The 1981 season was shortened by a labor dispute.

  • Batting Average
    1970 — Alex Johnson — .329

  • Runs Batted In
    1979 — Don Baylor — 139
    2014 — Mike Trout — 111

  • Stolen Bases
    1975 — Mickey Rivers — 70
    2012 — Mike Trout — 49

  • Wins
    1964 — Dean Chance — 20
    2005 — Bartolo Colon — 21
    2014 — Jered Weaver — 18*

    * Tied with two players

  • Strikeouts
    1972 — Nolan Ryan — 329
    1973 — Nolan Ryan — 383
    1974 — Nolan Ryan — 367
    1975 — Frank Tanana — 269
    1976 — Nolan Ryan — 327
    1977 — Nolan Ryan — 341
    1978 — Nolan Ryan — 260
    1979 — Nolan Ryan — 223

  • Earned Run Average
    1964 — Dean Chance — 1.65
    1977 — Frank Tanana — 2.54
    2007 — John Lackey — 3.01

Angels In The World Series

2002 San Francisco Giants Won 4–3

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