Tuesday, March 30, 2010

1961 Front Office

Gene Autry
1961 - 1997

1995 Gene Autry Autographed Angels ticket

After gaining huge success on radio, in movies and on television for more than three decades as The Singing Cowboy, Gene Autry became the owner of the MLB expansion team Los Angeles Angels in 1960. He had originally been interested only in broadcasting rights, but was persuaded to become the owner of the new team. After debuting in 1961 at LA's Wrigley Field, the team shared Chavez Ravine with the Dodgers. This led Autry to build his own stadium and in 1966 relocate the team to Orange County, renaming them the California Angels, then later the Anaheim Angels. Autry remained active in the front office until his death in 1997.

Fred Haney
1961 - 1968

1991 Topps 1953 Archive

Fred Haney began his baseball career as a player in the Pacific Coast League in the '20s, and made it to the big leagues for parts of seven seasons. He followed his playing days with stints as manager for several teams, finally winning a World Series in 1957 with the Milwaukee Braves. He was chosen by Gene Autry as the Angels first General Manager when the American League granted an expansion franchise to Los Angeles. Haney was instrumental in selecting future stars such as Jim Fregosi and Dean Chance, and in keeping the team competative the first several years of it's existence.

Roland Hemond
1961 - 1970

Custom All-Time Angels Autograph card

Roland Hemond was hired as the Angels first Scouting and Farm Director by Fred Haney, who knew him from his managing days in Milwaukee. Hemond has been in baseball since 1951 serving in various roles with the Hartford Chiefs and Boston Braves, and then Assistant Farm Director of the Milwaukee Braves, prior to joining the Angels. After his days with the Angels he went on to become the General Manager of the Chicago White Sox (1970–85), Baltimore Orioles (1988–95), Senior Executive Vice President of the Arizona Diamondbacks (1996–2000), Executive Advisor to the General Manager of the White Sox (2001–2007), and President of the Association of Professional Baseball Players of America (APBPA). He twice was awarded Major League Baseball's "Executive of the Year" award and is credited with the original idea for the Arizona Fall League.

Custom Index card

Roland Hemonds response to questionaire

Friday, March 26, 2010

1961 Manager and Coaches

Bill Rigney

Custom All-Time Angels Autograph card

In his Angels debut year he went 70-91-1 for 8th place.
Rigney's overall Angels record in 9 years: 1333 games, 625/707 .469
ML Manager of the Year Award (1962)

1961 Topps

Rigney became the expansion Los Angeles Angels' first manager in 1961, moved with them to Anaheim, and remained until the 1969 season, winning the AL Manager of the Year Award in 1962. Along with Fred Haney, Rigney was instrumental in selecting the 28 players from the American League player pool to become the original Angels.
With a disappointing 11-28 record and mired in a ten-game losing streak, Rigney was fired by the Angels on May 27, 1969, and succeeded by Lefty Phillips. Also considered for that first managerial position were Leo Durocher and Casey Stengel.

Bob Elliott (1961)

1960 Topps

After his playing career ended, Bob Elliott was the manager of the San Diego Padres from 1955 until part way through the 1957 season and the Sacramento Solons in 1959. He then managed in the major leagues for one season with the Kansas City Athletics in 1960 and served as a coach for the expansion Los Angeles Angels in 1961.
Elliott was the cleanup hitter in the 1948 World Series for the 1948 Boston Braves. He slugged .691.
Elliott broke in with the 1939 Pittsburgh Pirates, at a time when Arky Vaughan and the Waner brothers were still on the team, and ended his career with the 1953 White Sox, playing alongside 25-year-old Nellie Fox and 27-year-old Minnie Minoso.
* 7-time NL All-Star (1941, 1942, 1944, 1945, 1947, 1948 & 1951)
* NL MVP (1947)

Marv Grissom (1961-1966, 1969, 1977-1978)

Custom All-Time Angels Autograph card

Marv Grissom saw his major league career get off to a late start, as he missed four years while in the Army during World War II. After his playing career ended, he was the first pitching coach of the expansion Los Angeles Angels from 1961 to 1966. He was a member of the Chicago White Sox staff in 1967 and 1968 but returned to the Angels in 1969. He was then a Minnesota Twins coach in 1970 and 1971 and was with the Chicago Cubs in 1975 and 1976. Once again, he was a member of the Angels coaching staff in 1977 and 1978.
* NL All-Star (1954)
* Won a World Series with the New York Giants in 1954

Custom Index card

Red Kress (1961)

Throughout his major league career, Kress was known for his great disposition and perpetual motion. Although he played mostly at shortstop, he showed his versatility playing every position but catcher and center fielder. Kress broke in the majors with the St. Louis Browns in the 1927 season, and went on to play for the Browns, White Sox, Senators, and Tigers until retiring at the end of the 1946 season. In a 14-season career, Kress was a .286 hitter with 1454 hits, 298 doubles, 58 triples, 89 home runs, 691 runs, 799 RBI, and 47 stolen bases in 1391 games played. He became a coach for the expansion Los Angeles Angels in 1961. He loved baseball enough to quit after coaching for the hapless 1962 Mets. That November, his heart gave out.

Jack Paepke (1961-1966)

Custom All-Time Angels Autograph card

Custom Index card
Paepke began his baseball career with Santa Barbara in the California League during the 1941 season. He became a player-manager in 1953 and led his Brunswick Pirates to the Georgia-Florid League championship in his first year as skipper. He helped his own cause quite a bit by hitting .318 with 21 HRs and 109 RBI while compiling a 4-1 record on the mound. He was equally successful the following year when he led his Waco Pirates to Big State League crown. This Waco team won 105 games and has been named one of the top 25 minor league teams of all time by minor league baseball's official website. As he wound his way through the Pittsburgh Pirates farm system, Paepke saw no more postseasons as a manager. Along the way he made stops as skipper of the Billings Mustangs, the Salinas Packers, the Kinston Eagles, the Jamestown Falcons, the Grand Forks Chiefs, the San Jose Pirates, and the Las Vegas Wranglers. He ended his playing and managing career after the 1958 season.
Following his playing career, Paepke became a major league coach for the Angels from 1961 to 1966. He was later a scout for the Angels and eventually the Expos.
Response to my questionaire

Thursday, March 18, 2010

#46 Bob Sprout

Custom All-Time Angels card
Robert Samuel Sprout
Bats: Left, Throws: Left
Height: 6' 0", Weight: 165 lb.
Born: December 5, 1941 in Florin, PA
Debut: September 27, 1961 Los Angeles Angels
Final Game: September 27, 1961 Los Angeles Angels

Drafted 5th by the Los Angeles Angels from the Detroit Tigers in the 1960 expansion draft.

Custom Expansion Draft Autograph card

Started the game and went 4 innings giving up 3 runs on 4 hits in an 8-6 win against the Washington Senators on Wednesday, September 27, 1961 (N) at Wrigley Field.
His only game in the major leagues.

Gave up 3 runs on 4 hits in 4 innings pitched (1 start - no decision) for an ERA of 4.50. Went 0/1 at the plate.

1961 Team-Issued Post card

Bob Sprout pitched one game in the majors but is better known for his 22-strikeout no-hitter in the minors in 1960.
Sprout went 15-7 for Decatur in 1960 along with 264 strikeouts.
Sprout injured his arm during spring training of 1962, and he pitched in pain after that.
Read more about him here:

Sunday, March 14, 2010

#45 Jim Fregosi

Custom All-Time Angels Autograph card

James Louis Fregosi
Shortstop, First Baseman and Third Baseman
Bats: Right, Throws: Right
Height: 6' 1", Weight: 190 lb.
Born: April 4, 1942 in San Francisco, CA
Debut: September 14, 1961 Los Angeles Angels
Final Game: May 31, 1978 Pittsburgh Pirates

Custom Angels Expansion Draft Autograph card

Drafted 17th by the Los Angeles Angels from the Boston Red Sox in the 1960 expansion draft.
Later, traded by the California Angels to the New York Mets for Frank Estrada, Don Rose, Nolan Ryan and Leroy Stanton on December 10, 1971.

1964 Topps Giants

Grounded out (pitcher to first) in a 3-2 loss to the Minnesota Twins on Thursday, September 14, 1961 (D) at Metropolitan Stadium.

1961 - 1971
Batted .268 with 1408 hits, 115 HR and 546 RBI.

I can never have enough Jim Fregosi stuff. He's the face of the early Angels. I've sent him a couple things to sign every couple years or so for the past 15 years and he's always been very gracious. Several of these cards I've gotten through trades as well.

1964 Topps Fold-Outs; 1966 Topps Rub-Offs; 1968 Topps Game

6-time AL All-Star (1964 & 1966-1970)
AL Gold Glove Winner (1967)
AL Triples Leader (1968)
20-Home Run Seasons: 1 (1970)

1993 Ted Williams Co.
Jim Fregosi was one of the best shortstops of the 1960s and later managed for many years. Fregosi was a six time All-Star for the Los Angeles/California Angels.
He was drafted by the Angels from the Boston Red Sox in the expansion draft after the 1960 season. Fregosi was in the minors during 1960, most of 1961 and part of 1962, making his major league debut in 1961 and becoming an everyday player during part of 1962. He immediately showed an ability to hit for a decent average along with moderate power and some stolen bases.
Jim was consistently an above-average hitter during the 1960's, a time of historically low hitting in baseball. Perhaps his best overall year was 1964, when he hit .277 (the league average was .247) with 72 walks, 18 home runs and 9 triples. His OPS+ that year was seventh best in the 1964 American League.
He was part of what is widely viewed as one of the most lopsided trades in baseball history. On December 10, 1971, the Angels sent him to the New York Mets for four players, one of whom was future Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan. Fregosi only hit .233 with 5 home runs in a season and a half as a Met; Ryan averaged 17 wins and over 300 strikeouts a year in eight seasons as an Angel.

1978 - 1981
237-249 .488%
Won the AL West Division Title in 1979 (88-74).

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

#44 Dan Ardell

Custom All-Time Angels Autograph card

Daniel Miers Ardell
Pinch Runner, Pinch Hitter and First Baseman
Bats: Left, Throws: Left
Height: 6' 2", Weight: 190 lb.
Born: May 27, 1941 in Seattle, WA
Debut: September 14, 1961 Los Angeles Angels
Final Game: September 27, 1961 Los Angeles Angels

Signed by the Los Angeles Angels as an amateur free agent on July 15, 1961.

Entered the game in the 9th as a pinch runner for Earl Averill in a 5-1 win against the Minnesota Twins on Thursday, September 14, 1961 (D) at Metropolitan Stadium.

Had 1 hit (single) in 4 AB over 7 games for a .250 BA.

Dan Ardell was a star at USC in 1961 and made his major league debut that same year. The following year, in the minors, he was beaned and retired after a couple more years.
He was one of the youngest players on the 1961 Angels in their inaugural year. Playing first base, he found his competition that year at the position was Steve Bilko, Ted Kluszewski, Julio Becquer and Lee Thomas.
Thats all I have on Dan Ardell. If you have anything you'd like to trade let me know!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Happy Birthday to ME!

Yeah, it's my birthday today so I thought I would post a bunch of my favorite cards in my entire collection, not just the Angels, and in no particular order.

1954 Bowman Carl Erskine autograph. One of the most gracious signers out there, Mr. Erskine was nice enough to add his no-hitter dates making this card especially cool. The '54 Bowman is one of my favorite designs, and any Brooklyn Dodger looks good on a baseball card.

1972 Topps Nolan Ryan. This card and the 1975 Topps are tied for my two favorite Ryan cards. I love the funky Angels font. Ryan is my all-time favorite player.

1990-91 Score Theoren Fleury autograph. The dude was all over the ice, all the time. My first Ducks game in 1993 was against the Flames, where Theo came to life. He needed one of those blue streak thingies like they had for the puck.

1993 Angels ticket stub signed by Jimmy Reese. One of two Reese autographs in my collection. I like this one because I was with my 4 year old son and Mr. Reese was kind enough to stop and ask us a couple personal questions. Nicest guy ever.

1921 W551 Walter Johnson strip card. I always wanted a Walter Johnson card in my collection. He was the old-school Nolan Ryan.

1952 Wheaties Stan Musial, batting position. Simple but awesome.

1969 Topps Johnny Bench. As close as I'll get to a Bench rookie. Bench holds a close second to Nolan Ryan, though I've never seen in play in person.

2007 SP Legendary Cuts Nolan Ryan Jersey. You can't go wrong with a Ryan Angels jersey card.

1993 Ted Williams Co. Duke Snider autograph. I dig the black and white, the ghosted image, the way the blue autograph pops out and the fact that he signed it down the side. Nice touch Duke.

1956 Topps Virgil Trucks autograph. One of the great old-timers, and just an all-around great guy. I've always been fond of the larger sized '56 with the portrait in the foreground and the action shot in the background.

1956 Topps Wayne Terwilliger autograph. Got this one signed in person. I watched as Twig was so thoughtful and meticulous with his autograph. But what I like best is that he dotted his "i" right on his tooth!

2009 Tommy Tessier Custom Material Card. I made this card of my son with a swatch from an old little league jersey I kept, the same one he's wearing in the picture. He's 21 now.

1989 Pro Set Dick Enberg autograph. My favorite Angels announcer. Yes I realize it's an NFL card.

1992 Skybox Tim Salmon autograph. It's a Tim Salmon autograph! On a Tim Salmon rookie card! And it's TIM SALMON!

Dolly Madison Linus. Don't remember when I got this, probably in the mid-seventies, but I know it's the one card I've had the longest. I know it came in a box of vanilla Zingers. MAN I loved those Zingers.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

#43 Chuck Tanner

Custom All-Time Angels Autograph card

Charles William Tanner
Bats: Left, Throws: Left
Height: 6' 0", Weight: 185 lb.
Born: July 4, 1929 in New Castle, PA
Debut: April 12, 1955 Milwaukee Braves
Final Game: May 8, 1962 Los Angeles Angels

Purchased by the Los Angeles Angels from the Cleveland Indians on September 8, 1961.
Later released by the Los Angeles Angels before the 1963 season.

1956 Topps

Entered game in the 9th as a pinch hitter for Rocky Bridges and drew a walk in a 5-1 win over the Minnesota Twins on Thursday, September 14, 1961 at Metropolitan Stadium.

1961 - 1962
Batted .125 in 16 at-bats mostly as a pinch-hitter.

Signed by the Boston Braves in 1946, he didn't make it to the majors until 1955. He played four seasons for the Atlanta Crackers of the Southern Association, hitting over .300 each year and helping them to win the Dixie Series in 1954.
In 1955, when he finally came to the majors, he hit .247 in 97 games as the fourth outfielder for the Milwaukee Braves. The Braves were 1957 World Series champs, but Tanner was picked up on waivers in June of that year by the Chicago Cubs. Between the two teams, he had the most at-bats of his career, 387, hitting .279 with 19 doubles and 9 home runs. Soon after he arrived, he and Ernie Banks hit inside-the-park home runs in the same game at Forbes Field. Tanner was a regular in the outfield for the Cubs in the second half of 1957, but in 1958 he was used by them mostly as a pinch-hitter, hitting .262 with a .437 slugging percentage.
He had a series of brief appearances in 1959-1962 with the Cleveland Indians and the Los Angeles Angels.

1982 Donruss

Chuck Tanner managed 8 years in the Los Angeles/California Angels chain from 1963 to 1970, before taking over the Chicago White Sox in 1970. He managed the Quad Cities Angels (1963-1964), El Paso Sun Kings (1965-1966, 1968), Seattle Angels (1967), and Hawaii Islanders (1969-1970), winning the Texas League title with El Paso in 1968.