Los Angeles Angels: Anaheim

Nolan Ryan finally returns to Anaheim

June, 1, 2012
ANAHEIM – Texas Rangers CEO Nolan Ryan figures he hasn’t been to Anaheim since walking off the mound in 1993 to a huge ovation. That was nearly 20 years ago.

“I remember I had pretty good stuff, but I didn’t win,” Ryan said.

He returned Friday night, throwing out the ceremonial first pitch and receiving a specially-designed ring to commemorate his inclusion in the Angels’ Hall of Fame.

Back in that September start in 1993, Ryan gave up one unearned run and four hits, but got a no-decision in a 2-1 loss. He had five strikeouts and no walks in seven innings. Ryan threw out his arm in his next start in Seattle and retired.

“I knew it was the last time I was going to pitch here, so it was sentimental,” Ryan said. “The fans have always treated me well here.”

Ryan played eight seasons for the Angels after he was dealt with pitcher Don Rose, catcher Francisco Estrada and outfielder Leroy Stanton for shortstop Jim Fregosi, who would later manage Ryan.

Ryan threw the first four of his record seven no-hitters as an Angel. He would later add one in Houston and two in Texas.

Ryan also pitched in the All-Star Game played in Anaheim in 1989 and made his first start for the Rangers in Anaheim in 1989, pitching a complete-game, three-hit shutout with two walks and 12 strikeouts.

Ryan said it was special because of how the fans received him after that.

A tale of two Decembers

December, 9, 2011

A year ago, I flew from back from the winter meetings, Orlando to LAX, seated next to a high-ranking member of the Angels' scouting department.

The fellow, Gary Sutherland, greeted me and then proceeded to spend most of the next five hours asleep. It had been a trying few days for the Angels' brass, who built their entire strategy around landing fleet left fielder Carl Crawford. When that fell through, the Angels -- feeling bereft of an adequate left fielder and a difference-maker in their lineup -- overreacted.

They traded for Vernon Wells. We won't revisit how that worked out. We mention it only to contrast Winter 2011 with Winter 2010.

A year ago, people wondered if the Angels even mattered. Now, Arte Moreno is the king of Southern California baseball, at least until -- if? -- the Dodgers re-exert their dominance of the market.

Moreno's sense of timing was dubious in the past -- he bought the team eight months after its first World Series -- but it was impeccable in the past few days. With the Dodgers in limbo and a $3 billion funnel about to open up from a new TV deal with Fox, everything came together for Moreno's big strike. Even the stage was perfect: the final day of the winter meetings, all eyes on the Angels.

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Mike Trout
.309 24 76 70
HRM. Trout 24
RBIM. Trout 76
RM. Trout 70
OPSM. Trout 1.005
WG. Richards 11
ERAG. Richards 2.47
SOG. Richards 134