Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Around the Horn: Los Angeles Angels

Ah yes, the Angels ... the "other" baseball team in L.A. Despite them taking up residence only an hour south of the Dodgers, I never really hear them get talked about as much as the Dodgers do. 

The Angels have been around in some form or fashion since 1961, when they and the new Washington Senators (now the Texas Rangers) were granted a team in the first round of American League expansion. 

This is the only card I have representing the 1961 Angels and it's a pretty interesting one, Ted Klusewski (one of my player collections I'll get to when I cover the Reds) with a White Sox hat with the Angels listed as the team. It also doubles as his "sunset card" as 1961 was his last year in the bigs.

In terms of player collections, my biggest player collection for the Angels would have to be Mike Trout. These are my two favorites. The first is from 2015 Heritage and is one of those pesky "action image" variations that I pulled from a pack I from a card shop in Jacksonville, NC on a trip to visit the in-laws. The other one is a 2016 Heritage Chrome card that came from, of all things, a random Target 50-card, 4-pack repack deals.

Some horizontal Trout cards, I always think the 2013 card is the famous rookie card because of the rookie cup but I'm not lucky enough to have that. I'll settle for the rookie cup card though.

Overall, I've got 27 unique Mike Trout cards in my collection, most of them pack pulled. I didn't realize exactly how many cards of him I had until I pulled them all for this post. I guess I'll consider him an official player collection now.

I can never figure out if this card belongs as part of my Mike Trout cards or my Albert Pujols cards. Maybe I should count it for both?

Speaking of Pujols, these are all my Pujols Angels cards. I tend to think of him more as a member of the Angels now instead of the Cardinals

I never realized I had this many Tim Salmon cards. He's not really someone I collect but when I get cards of his, I don't mind at all.

Seeing Reggie Jackson as anything but a Yankee is always cool. I always forget he had a couple stops with the Angels. My favorites of these are the Diamond Kings card at the bottom and the 1987 Topps since it's his sunset card.

I just need 1971, 1975, 1978, and 1980 to complete the entire team card run from 1970-1981. 

I had no clue that Vada Pinson and Frank Robinson were on the Angels together in 1973. They're shown as member of the team in the 1974 set but by then Pinson had been traded to the Royals. Speaking of 1973, I've got both a 1970 and 1973 Sandy Alomar card and when I see cards of his, I usually tend to pick them up.

Who can go wrong with a Kellogg's Nolan Ryan card?

Some fun players from the huge batch of 1982 Donruss I picked up in the community yard sale last spring. 

More neat cards from the mid-80s. Bobby Grich is one of only a handful of 1985 Donruss cards I have in my collection. I really like the design of it and it's one I wish I could find some more cards of in dime and quarter boxes.

A handful of Topps cards from 1985-1988. I'd forgotten that Don Sutton was still pitching in 1987. 

Dave Winfield is definitely someone I have on my player collection list but these are the only two Angels cards I have of him. Maybe once I wrap up all going through all these teams, I'll go back and show the cards I have of all my PCs.

I always like Eduardo Perez when he played for the Reds and I think I got an autograph from him when I was a kid. That minor league Classic card is probably one of my favorites.

A mixed bag of random cards from the 90s. I never understood the name change from the California Angels to the Anaheim Angels and from the red and white uniforms to the blue uniforms with the winged, flying "A" on it (seen here on Troy Percival).

I never did see Bert Blyleven pitch but seeing as he's a Hall of Famer and had a long career, I tend to pick up cards of his when I see them for a decent price. He's not on my official player collection list but if I get enough cards of his at some point, I might eventually add him.

I've shown this card off and talked about it previously but it's a pretty unique card from 1993 Topps. Long story short, the Angels scouts were looking for new talent anywhere and found it by signing three players from Russia as an experiment to see if they could open up a talent pipeline there. did a great article and retrospective on it (here) and I encourage reading it and it's incredibly interesting.

In terms of short term stops with the Angels, Eddie Murray is probably one of the most interesting. He played 46 games for the Angels during his sunset season and swatted the final three of his 504 career home runs with them. This is the only Eddie Murray card I have of him that chronicles his brief stint with the Halos.

Some cards from the 2000s. My favorites here are the UD Decades Don Baylor and the 2001 Topps Garrett Anderson. It feels to me that 2001 Topps doesn't get a whole lot of love from the card community but I've always enjoyed it as it's the last Topps set I bought packs of during my initial foray into collecting. Maybe someday I'll attempt the set but the Pujols and Ichiro rookies might dissuade me from doing so.

Some cards of the famous Rally Monkey. Who doesn't love a little mascot action? 

A few random cards from the current decade. I'd had no clue that Jason Isringhausen played his final season in 2012 for the Angels. The Nolan Ryan I picked up at a card show last fall and it's some sort of Panini VIP card.

I don't know much about Jeremy Moore but this has always been one of my favorite cards from 2012 Topps, mainly because of the awesome throwback uniform. As a matter of fact, it's the card that inspired me to start chasing throwback uniforms.

I instantly thought of Dimebox Nick when I plucked this card out of of a dime box at a card show. It's probably one of my favorite cards in my collection overall.

I'm sure most everyone forgot about Brandon Phillips' 24 game sojurn to L.A. towards the tail end of last season. Truth be told, I'd forgotten about it too until I pulled this card out of a Heritage pack earlier this year. Despite him being an anchor of the Reds infield, he never was one of my favorite players. I always found him a bit too cocky and show-boaty.

Even though I've shown this card previously, I felt it was appropriate to close out with my lone card of Shohei Otani that came out a Gypsy Queen retail pack.

That pretty much covers the best of the Angels cards in my collection. I hope you enjoyed this entry in the "Around the Horn" series. 

Next up .... the Houston Astros.


  1. Wow I really enjoyed that! Im sending you the 78 and 80 Team cards (surprised that I didnt have the others) and some other cards.

  2. As an Angels fan, I appreciate the post of the different cards you have of my home team.