Thursday, April 30, 2020

Angels? or Diablos!

This is my 1980 TCMA El Paso Diablos team set, one of my favorite minor league sets because of the awful color and font, and the even more awful, but equally beautiful, uniforms.
The Diablos were an Angels affiliate from 1973-1980 (well, kinda, read on).
But talk about a conflict of interests in names!
I've been able to get a few cards signed over the years.

A couple of these guys eventually made it up to the Angels.
Brian Harper either forgot his belt or just prefers the disheveled look.

Jim Saul began managing in the Angels organization in 1973. After that he bounced around to a few other clubs before coming back to the Angels organization '80-'81, 1980 being his only year as manager of the Diablos. Saul was also a catcher in the Angels farm system in 1969-1970 for the AAA Hawaii Islanders.
I mailed this card to Jim in 2013, and for some odd reason he decided to sign it three times.
I love it!

Anyhow, Gene Autry bought the El Paso Sun Kings for $1 in 1965 (prior to that from 61-64 the were affiliated with the Giants) so from 1965-1970 they were an Angels affiliate. In 1968 the Sun Kings won the Texas League Pennant.

A few more recognizable names.
As minor league teams come and go, El Paso was without a team in 1971, until the Dodgers brought their team to El Paso in 1972. That was short-lived, because the Angels were again the owners in 1974, and the Angels decided to rename them the Diablos. I wonder how they came up with that name.
Around that same time, the team had a young prospect named Kurt Russell who was tearing up the league. Young Kurt damaged his shoulder, however, and decided then to return to acting, and the rest is history.

I'm not quite sure what the blue design on the back is. Makes me think of a cold, Southern California wave, which would be perfect to cool of the Diablos in the scorching El Paso heat.

From 1974-1980, the Diablos remained an Angels farm team, again winning the Texas League Pennant in 1978. The Brewers took over El Paso in 1981, and then after that, I don't bother to look, because I know they weren't ever an Angels affiliate again.

The 1980 El Paso Diablos (this set) ended up going 50-86, 27 games out of first.
Daryl Sconiers led the team batting .370/15/87, Mike Bishop hit 33 HR and drove in 106, and Steve Brown was the ace at 14-12, 3.66 ERA.

Hobo Joe's, if you're interested, was a regional coffee shop/restaurant chain from the 60's thru the early 80's, I believe. They were headquartered in Tempe, with the first one being built in Scottsdale. 


  1. Awful? AWFUL?

    I live for this set, and it's because of the color and font. Still trying to finish off the DUKES from this set, getting close.

    1. How about beautifully awful?
      Regardless, I love the font of the design. And those unis are most excellent!

    2. As soon as I saw these, I thought of the Dave Stewart card. I'd love to add one to my A's collection one day.

      P.S. If I was driving through town and was hungry... I'd want to eat at a place called Hobo Joe's.

  2. I've got one card from this set. That's how I collect older Minor League cards. Lot's of sweepstakes/other cards coming your way next time I go to post office.

  3. I love these cards. The Diablos jerseys...not so much.

  4. OMG so hideous and yet, I can't look away! The hot temps obviously had some great affect on the uni designer!