TBtB: Los Angeles Angels

 

Sticking to a name has never been a strong suit for the franchise. Born the Los Angeles Angels, that soon gave way to the California Angels, the Anaheim Angels, the tonguesore of the recent past and even their new name, whatever the hell that is.* Similarly, the ballpark has gone from Anaheim Stadium to Edison International** Field and then Angel Stadium of Anaheim. The one constant is its nickname, the Big A, which will likely get some strong support in this here endeavor. It’s simple, but it works.

The ballpark, the second-oldest in the American League, is blessed in not just nickname. Mike Trout plays half his games here annually. Among ballpark features, that remains the best one.

One request: Please no Disney tie-ins.

* It turns out, their new name is also their oldest name. They’re the Los Angeles Angels again, making them the Duran Duran or Sirhan Sirhan of big league franchises.

**That sounds like the convention that leads to naming the airport in Fargo “Hector International.” Just because you send some flights into Winnipeg doesn’t make you a hub of global activity.

Ballpark History

Built:  1966

Capacity: 45,477

Name: Angel Field of Anaheim, 2003-present. Also, Anaheim Stadium, 1966-1997, Edison International Field of Anaheim 1998-2003.

Other ballparks used by club in its current city: Wrigley Field (the other one) 1961, Dodger Stadium, 1962-65.

Distinctive Features: The rock formation beyond the left field fence; low fences in the corners, allowing spectators to whack visiting outfielders in the back with Thundersticks; Big A sign relocated to parking lot; giant Angels caps outside stadium entrance.

 

Ballpark Highlights:

In 1967, the stadium hosted the All-Star game, the first time the contest was played before a prime time television audience.

In 1974, Nolan Ryan set the American League record for strikeouts in a game, when he fanned 19 Red Sox over the course of 13 innings. He also added 10 walks. And somewhere else in America, an infant future editor of Baseball Prospectus wailed uncontrollably.

In 1985, Angels first baseman Rod Carew singled off Frank Viola for the 3,000th hit of his Hall of Fame career.

In 1988, home plate umpire Enrico Pallazzo saved the queen.

In 2002, rookie John Lackey pitched Angels to 4-1 victory in Game 7 of World Series, giving the club its only World Series title.

In 2006, in the first World Baseball Classic, South Korea went 3-0 and eventual championship Japan went 2-1 to advance to the title round.

 

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