The Angels finished the 1961 season with a 70-91 record. The club's .435 winning percentage still stands as the best of any expansion team in major league history. The Angels played at Wrigley Field in Los Angeles in 1961.
Moved to Dodger Stadium and remained there through the 1965 season. In the same year, a 25-year-old rookie who vowed to set the American League on its ear, did just that against the Baltimore Orioles on May 5. For 8 2/3 innings, Robert "Bo" Belinsky shut down the Orioles without a hit.
With a 20-9 record and a 1.65 ERA, 23-year-old Dean Chance was named winner of the Cy Young Award. He received 17 of a possible 20 first-place votes in becoming the youngest player ever to receive baseball's most coveted honor for a pitcher.
After spending a year at cozy Wrigley Field (seating capacity 20,500), and four seasons as tenants at Dodger Stadium, the Angels christened Anaheim Stadium April 9, 1966, with an exhibition game against the San Francisco Giants.
Alex Johnson became the first (and only) Angel ever to win a batting title when he edged Boston's Carl Yastrzemski on the last day of the season. The date was Oct. 1, 1970. The place, Anaheim Stadium. The opponent, the Chicago White Sox.
May 15: Nolan Ryan became the first right-hander in the club's history to throw a no-hitter when he defeated the Royals in Kansas City, 3-0, before a crowd of 12,205.
July 15: Ryan became the fifth pitcher in Major League history to record two no-hitters in a single season when he pitched the Angels to a 6-0 win against the Tigers at Detroit on July 15 before 41,411 in attendance.
Making his 41st and final start of the year, Nolan Ryan tossed the third no-hitter of his career by defeating Minnesota, 4-0, before a sparse turnout of 10,872 at Anaheim Stadium.
Nolan Ryan tied a Major League record by authoring his fourth career no-hitter as he white-washed the Baltimore Orioles, 1-0 before a crowd of 18,492 at Anaheim Stadium.
Angels 1st Division Title: After 18 years of existence, Gene Autry's team had finally made it to the postseason. League MVP Don Baylor led an explosive offense which complemented a pitching staff led by 16 game winners Nolan Ryan and Dave Frost. The Halos would lose to the Baltimore Orioles in four games in the ALCS.
Don Baylor: Most Valuable Player: No discussion of the Angels' first-ever American League West Title would be complete without special mention of Most Valuable Player Don Baylor.
The 1982 Western Division Championship was accomplished by a team "made up of veterans with sore muscles, with tired arms, with drained emotions. This team, more than any other I've played on, had to push itself to grind out wins," summed up second baseman Bobby Grich.
Reggie Jackson's 500th Home Run: On September 17, Angel star Reggie Jackson became the 13th player to reach the coveted and exclusive milestone of hitting 500 career home runs.
Mike Witt's Perfect Game: On September 30 in Arlington, Mike Witt became the 13th pitcher in Major League history to toss a perfect game. At age 24, he was the fourth youngest ever to fashion such a gem.
Angels win American League West: Bittersweet would be the best way to describe the Angels' 1986 season, one of the best in franchise history, but so agonizingly close to the ultimate goal of a World Series appearance.
Don Sutton's 300th Victory: On June 18, 1986, 41-year-old Don Sutton defeated the Texas Rangers for his 300th career victory which assured him a one-way ticket to Cooperstown.
The Angels retire Nolan Ryan's number 30 on June 16 at Anaheim Stadium. Ryan posted a 138-121 record and a 3.06 ERA in 291 games with the Angels.
Garret Anderson wins the Player of the Month Award for July after hitting .410 with 22 runs scored, eight doubles, seven homers and 35 RBI in 25 games. He was the first rookie to be honored with the award since its inception.
Angels open brand-new Edison International Field before 43,311 fans. The Halos beat the Yankees, 4-1. Dave Hollins records the first hit in the first inning.
Mike Scioscia took over the managerial reins and led the club to an 82-80 record, a 12-game improvement. Darin Erstad won a Gold Glove in the outfield and enjoyed a dominant offensive season, leading the AL in hits (240) while scoring 121 runs and driving in 100, hitting 25 homers. Troy Glaus also erupted with an AL-high 47 homers and 102 RBIs, and Mo Vaughn (36), Garret Anderson (35) and Tim Salmon (34) joined the home-run party. Vaughn and Anderson tied for the club lead with 117 RBIs. But the Angels' offensive eruption wasn't supported by quality pitching. The staff ERA was 5.00, with no pitcher collecting more than 10 wins.
Troy Glaus (41 homers, 108 RBIs) and Garret Anderson (28 homers, 123 RBIs) continued to produce big numbers offensively, but the Angels fell below .500, to 75-87. Ramon Ortiz was the staff leader with 13 wins, while Troy Percival registered 39 saves.
After a sluggish start, the Angels turned on the jets, showcasing a bold new running game, and stormed to the AL Wild Card with a 99-63 record.
After knocking out the Yankees in the ALDS in four games, the Angels continued their hot hitting while trouncing the Twins in five games in the ALCS, highlighted by Adam Kennedy's three-homer outburst in Game 5 at Angel Stadium. The Angels were on the verge of losing the World Series to the San Francisco Giants when they rallied from a 5-0 deficit to win Game 6 with three runs in the seventh inning and three more in the eighth. Behind rookie John Lackey, they claimed Game 7 at home, 4-1, for the first championship in franchise history.
Garret Anderson was the hitting star all season, finishing with 29 homers and 123 RBIs along with an AL-high 56 doubles while batting .308. Troy Glaus (30 homers, 111 RBIs) also delivered big-time power and was named World Series MVP for his offensive fireworks, hitting .385 with three homers and eight RBIs.
Jarrod Washburn (18-6), Ramon Ortiz (15-9) and Kevin Appier (14-12) led the pitching staff, while Troy Percival produced 40 saves and rookie Francisco Rodriguez arrived as a force in September, dominating throughout the postseason run with his set-up work. Mike Scioscia was named AL Manager of the Year by the Baseball Writers' Association in his third season on the job.
In the afterglow of the franchise's first World Series triumph, the Angels crash-landed, finished eight games below .500. Garret Anderson tried to carry the offense, batting .315 with 29 homers, 116 RBIs and a league-high 49 doubles, but injuries whittled away the lineup with only Adam Kennedy, Tim Salmon, Scott Spiezio and Bengie Molina managing to stay healthy along with Anderson. Ramon Ortiz led the pitching staff with a 16-13 record, while Francisco Rodriguez (8-3, 3.03 ERA) and Troy Percival (33 saves) led the bullpen.
With the offseason acquisitions of outfielders Vladimir Guerrero and Jose Guillen and pitchers Bartolo Colon and Kelvim Escobar, the Angels had high hopes for a turnaround season under new owner Arte Moreno.
Injuries to key players Troy Glaus, Darin Erstad, Troy Percival, Garret Anderson and others -- along with Colon's subpar start -- slowed that plan. But Guerrero hammered opposition pitchers all season long, Chone Figgins became an indispensable player at multiple positions and Francisco Rodriguez stepped into Percival's closer's role, allowing the Angels to stay afloat.
When Colon started the second half on a tear, and the injuries began to heal, the Angels got red-hot through August and into September. They went on a 7-1 burst on the road against AL West foes Oakland and Texas in the final two weeks of the season, beating the A's on the second to last day to wrap up their first division title in 18 years.
The Angels lost in the ALDS to the eventual World Series champion Boston Red Sox, but that couldn't mask a terrific regular season. They had 45 comeback wins in their 92-70 record, playing before a franchise record 3,375,677 fans at Angel Stadium. Colon had a sterling 18-12 record, becoming the ace the Angels thought he'd be. Erstad won a Gold Glove at first base to become the first player in Major League history to win one as an infielder and outfielder.
But the anchor of the club was Guerrero, who carried the Angels down the stretch to win AL September Player of the Month honors and catapult them into the postseason. Overall, he led the club in virtually every offensive category -- .337 average, 39 home runs, 126 RBIs, 124 runs, 206 hits and 39 doubles -- in an MVP-caliber season.
Behind Bartolo Colon's Cy Young season and Vladimir Guerrero's bat, the Angels won the American League West for the second straight year -- a club first. After defeating the New York Yankees in five games in the ALDS, the Halos were stopped by the eventual World Series Champion Chicago White Sox, losing in five games in the ALCS.
The 2006 Angels stumbled out of the gate, unhinged by sloppy defense, but stormed back to pressure Oakland in the AL West before falling four games short of the A's. From July 1 to the end of the season, the Angels had the best record in baseball: 53-29. Vladimir Guerrero made his third consecutive All-Star start as an Angel, homering against Brad Penny.
With a 94-68 record, the Angels captured the AL West title, clinching on Sept. 23 with a 7-4 win against Seattle. It was their third division crown in four years and their sixth in club history. In the ALDS, the Red Sox completed a three-game sweep of the Angels at Angel Stadium after taking the first two games at Fenway Park.
The Angels tied a club record for home wins (54) and were in first place for all but 10 days of the season. John Lackey went 19-9, won the league ERA title (3.01) and finished third in the Cy Young Award voting. Kelvim Escobar won 18 games, and Francisco Rodriguez had 40 saves in 45 chances.
Chone Figgins batted .330, the best average by a leadoff man in club history, while establishing the career stolen base record for the Angels with 204. Garret Anderson set club records with 10 RBIs in a game against the Yankees and with RBIs in 12 consecutive games. Orlando Cabrera won a Gold Glove at shortstop.
Setting a club record with 100 wins, the Angels finished 21 games ahead of second-place Texas in the AL West. It was the first time in franchise history they had the best record in the Majors (100-62), their wins evenly divided between home and the road.
Yet the season ended again in frustration at the hands of the Red Sox, who prevailed again in four games in the ALDS. The lone Angels win came in Game 3 in 12 innings at Fenway Park when Mike Napoli homered twice, singled and scored the winning run in a 5-4 decision.
Francisco Rodriguez established a Major League record with 62 saves (in 69 opportunities), while Ervin Santana (16-7) and Joe Saunders (17-7) joined him on the AL All-Star team. Torii Hunter debuted as the Angels' center fielder, winning his eighth consecutive Gold Glove for his sensational play while also helping drive the offense. Vladimir Guerrero joined Lou Gehrig as the only players in history with 11 consecutive seasons batting at least .300 with 25 or more home runs. He batted .303 with 27 homers.
After beloved club executive Preston Gomez passed away in January, the season began with heartbreak when rookie pitcher Nick Adenhart was killed along with two companions (with one survivor) in a car crash hours after pitching six scoreless innings on April 8 against the A's at Angel Stadium. It left the team in emotional despair, and it wasn't until mid-June, when the club was 29-29, that it put together an offensive surge that carried the Angels to the top of the AL West.
With a strong finish, they won the division by 10 games, going 97-65. They carried momentum into the postseason and finally derailed Boston in the American League Division Series. After winning the first two games at home behind John Lackey and Jered Weaver, the Angels rallied with four ninth-inning runs, all with two out, to stun the Red Sox at Fenway Park and complete the sweep in Game 3. But the magic ran out in the Bronx in the AL Championship Series, where the Yankees won all three games at Yankee Stadium, including the finale in Game 6. The Angels took two of three at home in the series, highlighted by a dramatic Game 3 triumph in 11 innings on Jeff Mathis' walk-off double.
The offense was the story all season, ranking behind only the Yankees in runs scored with a club-record 883. The Angels' hitters set club records in batting average (.285), average with runners in scoring position (.297), hits (1,604) and RBIs (841). They set a Major League record with 11 players producing 50 or more RBIs, headed by Bobby Abreu's 103. It was the seventh year in a row Abreu, signed as a free agent before the season, drove in at least 100 runs. Kendry Morales had a breakout season at first base, hitting .306 with 34 homers and 108 RBIs to finish fifth in the MVP voting.Jered Weaver was the leader of an injury-riddled staff with a 16-8 record and 3.75 ERA, while Brian Fuentes led the Majors with 48 saves in 55 opportunities. The Angels tied a club record with their .986 fielding percentage and led the Majors in turning 174 double plays. Shortstop Erick Aybar arrived as one of the game's premier shortstops alongside Chone Figgins, who played superbly at third base. Hunter, who missed a month along with an adductor strain, had a career year offensively while winning his ninth straight Gold Glove. Mike Scioscia was named AL Manager of the Year for the second time by the Baseball Writers' Association of America.
Champions of the American League West for three consecutive seasons and five of the past six, the Angels fell on hard times, finishing 80-82 and in third place. It was the club's worst record since 2003. Almost everything that could go wrong did go wrong. There were injuries to key personnel throughout the season, but none rivaled the impact of Kendry Morales' loss on May 29 in arguably the freakiest injury in franchise history.
Leaping on home plate after a game-winning grand slam against Seattle at Angel Stadium, Morales landed awkwardly on his left foot and stayed down as teammates stood frozen in disbelief. Morales - fifth in the AL Most Valuable Player balloting in 2009 -- was taken to a nearby hospital where X-rays revealed a fracture in the lower left leg. A surgical procedure ended his season. The loss of his booming bat and meticulous glove work at first base proved devastating.
There were other losses along the way - starters Scott Kazmir early and Joel Pineiro later, catcher Jeff Mathis, relievers Matt Palmer, Brian Stokes and Jason Bulger, infielders Maicer Izturis and Erick Aybar. The offense took flight briefly in June, when the team went 18-9, but a 9-17 July collapse was followed by mediocrity for the balance of a frustrating season. The starting pitching, with Dan Haren arriving in a late July swap with Arizona, remained top-notch. Jered Weaver and Ervin Santana were consistently superb. The bullpen was erratic, with closer Brian Fuentes dealt to Minnesota at the non-waiver Deadline. The defense also had its ups and downs, and the offense sputtered all season long.
It was a season of resilience, resourcefulness and, at the end, disappointment. After rallying late in the summer following a walk-off home run by rookie Mark Trumbo to beat the Rangers at Angel Stadium, the Angels fell short in their bid to overhaul Texas, which claimed the American League West title for the second year in a row. The Angels, losing their final three-game series to the Rangers, finished 10 games off the pace with 86 wins.
The Angels were not without their stars - and All-Stars. Ace Jered Weaver, on the way to career bests in wins (18), earned run average (2.41) and innings pitched (235 2/3), started the All-Star Game for the American League in Phoenix and pitched one scoreless inning. Second baseman Howard Kendrick and rookie closer Jordan Walden joined Weaver on the AL roster and appeared in the game.
Dan Haren matched his career high with 16 wins and authored a 3.17 ERA in 238 1/3 innings. Ervin Santana, the third wheel in a potent rotation, produced the ninth no-hitter in franchise history on July 27 in Cleveland. Walden became a force as the rookie closer with 32 saves, and Scott Downs and Hisanori Takahashi were solid in setup roles.
Shortstop Erick Aybar claimed his first Rawlings Gold Glove, and center fielder Peter Bourjos, right fielder Torii Hunter and Haren also were Gold Glove finalists. Trumbo finished second in the AL Rookie of the Year balloting, leading the club with 29 homers and 87 RBIs, and was MLB.com's choice as the team's Performer of the Year. Bourjos was the Breakout Player of the Year and Weaver was named Pitcher of the Year by MLB.com.
Mike Trout emerged as one of the best players in baseball, Jered Weaver notched yet another Cy Young-caliber season and several other members of a deep and talented Angels team posted solid individual seasons.
But ultimately, the club fell short of the lofty expectations they carried in.
The Angels, under a new front office spearheaded by rookie general manager Jerry Dipoto, signed Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson over the offseason, then acquired Zack Greinke in July. Still, they missed the playoffs for a third straight year, finishing 89-73 and getting mathematically eliminated on the third-to-last day of the regular season.
Trout, 21, became the first player in history to score at least 125 runs, steal 45 bases, hit 30 homers and post a .320-plus batting average in the same year, making him the unanimous American League Rookie of the Year while finishing second to Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera for the MVP.
Weaver went 20-5 with a 2.81 ERA and his first career no-hitter to finish third in voting for the AL Cy Young, marking the third straight year hes finished in the top five. Pujols hit .285 with 30 home runs and 105 RBIs despite going homerless in the first month. And in what would be his final season in an Angels uniform, 37-year-old Torii Hunter posted a career-high .313 batting average.
But due to offensive woes at the start, rotation struggles in the middle, little outside help at the end and a shaky bullpen throughout, postseason play alluded the Angels once again.
The Angels missed the playoffs despite a second straight big-splash offseason. In December, they signed Josh Hamilton to a five-year contract almost exactly one year after adding Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson in one fell swoop but they didn't reach .500 after the second game of the ensuing year.
The Angels played well down the stretch, winning 22 of their last 35 games, but they were essentially out of the playoff mix for the last two months. Their final record of 78-84 was their worst since 2003 and put them 18 games back of the first-place A's in the American League West.
Hamilton finished with a .250 batting average, 21 homers and 79 RBIs, and Pujols' season ended after 99 games due to ongoing plantar fasciitis in his left foot. The 18 or so combined missed starts by Jered Weaver and Jason Vargas, the rough transitions to the AL by Tommy Hanson and Joe Blanton, and the 13 combined appearances by new relievers Ryan Madson and Sean Burnett also played a big factor.
Mike Trout and C.J. Wilson were among the positives. Trout, the 22-year-old outfielder who was the Angels' All-Star, followed up a historic rookie season with a 2013 campaign that might have been even better, posting a .323/.432/.557 slash line with 27 homers, 97 RBIs, 33 stolen bases and 109 runs scored. Trout finished second in the AL MVP voting. Wilson bounced back from offseason surgery to remove bone spurs, going 17-7 with a 3.39 ERA in 212 1/3 innings.
The Angels made it back to the Postseason on the strength of a Major League-leading 98 wins, third-most in franchise history. Garrett Richards emerged as an ace in his first full season in the rotation, and when the 26-year-old right-hander suffered a season-ending knee injury on Aug. 20, the Angels nonetheless rallied, winning 19 of their next 25 to gain nine games on the A's in the American League West.
Their October run was short, however. The eventual AL-champion Royals swept the Angels in the Division Series, squeaking out a couple of extra-inning games at Angel Stadium and then eliminating them at Kauffman Stadium.
Still, the 2014 season was a positive one in many ways. The Angels' bullpen became a major strength, with closer Huston Street and former All-Star Jason Grilli joining the formidable duo of Joe Smith and Kevin Jepsen at midseason. Several homegrown players emerged, from right fielder Kole Calhoun to starting pitcher Matt Shoemaker to reliever Mike Morin. Veteran leaders Jered Weaver (3.59 ERA, 213 1/3 innings) and Albert Pujols (28 homers, 105 RBIs) bounced back from injury-plagued seasons. And Mike Trout had another MVP-worthy campaign, batting .287 with 36 homers, 111 RBIs, 115 runs scored and 16 stolen bases.