The Los Angeles Angels are an American professional baseball team based in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. The Angels compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the American League (AL) West division. Since 1966, the team has played its home games at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California.
The franchise was founded in Los Angeles in 1961 by Gene Autry as one of MLB's first two expansion teams and the first to originate in California. Deriving its name from an earlier Los Angeles Angels franchise that played in the Pacific Coast League (PCL), the team was based in Los Angeles until moving to Anaheim in 1966. Due to the move, the franchise was known as the California Angels from 1965 to 1996 and the Anaheim Angels from 1997 to 2004. "Los Angeles" was added back to the name in 2005, but because of a lease agreement with Anaheim that required the city to also be in the name, the franchise was known as the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim until 2015. The current Los Angeles Angels name came into use the following season.
The "Los Angeles Angels" name originates from the first Los Angeles-based sports team, the Los Angeles Angels, who took the name "Angels" from the English translation of "Los Angeles", which means "The Angels" in Spanish. The team name started in 1892; in 1903, the team name continued in L.A. through the PCL, which is now a minor league affiliate of MiLB. The Angels franchise of today was established in MLB in 1961 after former owner Gene Autry bought the rights to continue the franchise name from Walter O'Malley, the former Los Angeles Dodgers owner who had acquired the franchise from Phil Wrigley, the owner of the Chicago Cubs at the time. As stated in the book Under the Halo: The Official History of Angels Baseball, "Autry agreed to buy the franchise name for $350,000, and continue the history of the previously popular Pacific Coast League team as his own expansion team in the MLB." After the Angels joined the Major Leagues, some players from the Angels' PCL team joined the Major League Angels in 1961.
As an expansion franchise, the club continued in Los Angeles as the "Los Angeles Angels", and played their home games at Los Angeles' Wrigley Field (not to be confused with Chicago's ballpark of the same name), which had formerly been the home of the PCL Los Angeles Angels. The Angels were one of two expansion teams established as a result of the 1961 Major League Baseball expansion, along with the second incarnation of the Washington Senators (now Texas Rangers). The team then moved in 1962 to newly built Dodger Stadium, which the Angels referred to as Chavez Ravine, where they were tenants of the Los Angeles Dodgers through 1965.
The team's founder, entertainer Gene Autry, owned the franchise for its first 36 years. During Autry's ownership, the team made the playoffs three times, but never won the pennant. The team has gone through several name changes in their history, first changing their name to the California Angels on September 2, 1965, with a month still left in the season, in recognition of their upcoming move to the newly constructed Anaheim Stadium in Anaheim at the start of the 1966 season. When The Walt Disney Company took control of the team in 1997, it extensively renovated Anaheim Stadium, which was then renamed Edison International Field of Anaheim. The City of Anaheim contributed $30 million to the $118 million renovation with a renegotiated lease providing that the names of both the stadium and team contain the word "Anaheim". The team was renamed the Anaheim Angels and became a subsidiary of Disney Sports, Inc. (later renamed Anaheim Sports, Inc.). Under Disney's ownership and the leadership of manager Mike Scioscia, the Angels won their first pennant and World Series championship in 2002.
In 2005, new owner Arturo Moreno added "Los Angeles" to the team's name. In compliance with the terms of its lease with the city of Anaheim, which required "Anaheim" be a part of the team's name, the team was officially renamed the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Fans, residents, and the municipal governments of both Anaheim and Los Angeles all objected to the change, with the City of Anaheim pursuing litigation; nevertheless, the change was eventually upheld in court and the city dropped its lawsuit in 2009. The team usually refers to itself as the Angels or Angels Baseball in its home media market, and the name "Los Angeles" never appears in the stadium, on the Angels' uniforms, nor on official team merchandise. However, throughout the team's history in Anaheim, the uniforms have traditionally said "Angels" instead of the city or state name, depending on the team's geographic identifier at the time. Local media in Southern California tend to omit a geographic identifier and refer to the team as the Angels or the Halos. The Associated Press, the most prominent news service in the U.S., refers to the team as the Los Angeles Angels, the Angels, or Los Angeles. In 2013, the team officially planned to drop "of Anaheim" from its name and restore its original name "Los Angeles Angels", as part of a new Angel Stadium lease negotiated with the Anaheim city government. Although the deal was never finalized, as of 2020, most official sources omit the "of Anaheim" suffix.
On December 20, 2019, the city of Anaheim voted to sell the stadium and land around it to a group led by owner Arte Moreno for $325 million.
The mantra "Win One for the Cowboy" is a staple that is deeply rooted in Angels history for fans. The saying refers to the Angels' founder and previous owner, Gene Autry, who never saw his Angels win a World Series in his 38 years as owner. Years went by as the team experienced many losses just strikes away from American League pennants. By the time the Angels won their first World Series in 2002, Autry had been dead for four years. After winning the World Series, Angels player Tim Salmon ran into the home dugout and brought out one of Autry's signature white Stetson hats in honor of the "singing cowboy". Autry's #26 was retired as the 26th man on the field for the Angels.
Angel Stadium of Anaheim is nicknamed "The Big A". It has a section in center field nicknamed the "California Spectacular", a formation of artificial rocks made to look like a desert mountain in California. The California Spectacular has a running waterfall, and also shoots fireworks from the rocks before every game; anytime the Angels hit a home run or win a home game the fireworks shoot from the rocks as well.
Each game begins with the song "Calling All Angels" by Train being played accompanied by a video that shows historical moments in team history, with an instrumental version of Norman Greenbaum's "Spirit in the Sky" being played during the team's starting lineup announcement.
Since 2016, the Angels' home run song has been "Bro Hymn" by Pennywise. Previous home run songs include "Song 2" by Blur, "Chelsea Dagger" by The Fratellis, "Kernkraft 400" by Zombie Nation, and "Killin' It" by Krewella.
After an Angels home win, the phrase "Light That Baby Up!" is used in reference to Angel Stadium's landmark 230-foot (70 m) tall letter "A" with a halo surrounding the top, which lights up every time the Angels win a home game. Another phrase associated with Angels wins is "Just another Halo victory", which the late Angels broadcaster Rory Markas said after the Angels won a game. Also during a win, the Angels play "Paradise City" by Guns N' Roses.
The Angels organization was the first North American team to employ the use of thundersticks.
The Rally Monkey
The Rally Monkey is a mascot for the Angels which appears if the Angels are losing a game or if the game is tied from the 7th inning on, but sometimes earlier depending on the situation. The Rally Monkey appears on the scoreboard in various movies or pop culture references that have been edited to include him.
The Rally Monkey was born in 2000 when the scoreboard showed a clip from Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, after which the Angels rallied to win the game. The clip proved to be so popular that the team hired Katie, a white-haired capuchin monkey, to star in original clips for later games. When seen, she jumps up and down to the House of Pain song "Jump Around" and holds a sign that says "RALLY TIME!"
The Rally Monkey came to national and worldwide attention during the Angels' appearance in the 2002 World Series against the San Francisco Giants. In the Game 6 of the series, the Angels were playing at home, but were trailing the series three games to two and facing elimination. They were down 5–0 as the game entered the bottom of the 7th inning. Amid fervid rally-monkey themed fan support, the Angels proceeded to score six unanswered runs over the next two innings, winning the game and turning the momentum of the series for good (they went on to clinch the championship in Game 7).
From 2004 to 2009, the Angels reached the postseason five times, sparking a renewal of the Rally Monkey's popularity.
The Angels have developed many rivalries in and also outside of their division. They include the New York Yankees, Texas Rangers, Seattle Mariners, Oakland Athletics, postseason history against the Boston Red Sox, and the neighboring Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Angels-Rangers rivalry has been said to have developed over a domination in the division between the two teams, and also in recent years more animosity between the two teams due to players who have played for both teams, including Nolan Ryan, Mike Napoli, Darren Oliver, Vladimir Guerrero, C. J. Wilson, and Josh Hamilton. In 2012, Wilson played a joke on Napoli, his former teammate, by tweeting his phone number, causing Napoli to exchange words with Wilson. The feuds go back to two incidents between Angels second baseman Adam Kennedy and Rangers catcher Gerald Laird which led to punches being thrown.
The Angels and Rangers have each pitched a perfect game against each other, making them the only pair of MLB teams to have done so. Mike Witt pitched a perfect game for the Angels against the Rangers in 1984 at Arlington Stadium and Kenny Rogers for the Rangers against the Angels in 1994.
Los Angeles Dodgers
The rivalry with the Los Angeles Dodgers has been referred to as the Freeway Series because of the freeway system (mostly via I-5) linking the two teams' home fields. The Freeway Series rivalry developed mostly over the two teams sharing similar regions and fans having been split due to neighboring counties, similar to the Chicago Cubs vs. Chicago White Sox rivalry, the San Francisco Giants vs. Oakland A's rivalry, the Baltimore Orioles vs. Washington Nationals rivalry, or the New York Mets vs. New York Yankees rivalry.
The Angels have drawn more than 3 million fans to the stadium since 2003, and at least 2 million since 2002, and a game average in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 of 40,000 fans at each game despite not making the playoffs all four years. This is 2nd in all of MLB, only trailing the New York Yankees. In 2019, the Angels were fifth in MLB in attendance, with a total of 3,019,012 people.
As of 2015, the Angels fans have set six Guinness World Records for the largest gatherings of people wearing blankets, wrestling masks, cowboy hats, wigs, Santa hats, superhero capes, and sombreros. They have also set the world record for largest gathering of people with selfie sticks. In 2009, the Angels were voted as the number one franchise in professional sports in Fan Value by ESPN magazine. In 2012, ESPN & Fan polls by ESPN ranked the Angels fifteenth in the best sports franchises, third best among MLB teams. The rankings were determined through a combination of sports analysts and fan votes ranking all sports franchises by a combination of average fan attendance, fan relations, "Bang for your Buck" or winning percentage over the past 3 years, ownership, affordability, stadium experience, players effort on the field and likability, coaching, and "Title Track".
Logos and colors
The Los Angeles Angels have used ten different logos and three different color combinations throughout their history. Their first two logos depict a baseball with wings and a halo over a baseball diamond with the letters "L" and "A" over it in different styles. The original team colors were the predominantly blue with a red trim. This color scheme would be in effect for most of the franchise's history lasting from 1961 to 1996.
On September 2, 1965, with the team still a tenant of the Dodgers at Chavez Ravine, Autry changed its name from the "Los Angeles Angels" to the "California Angels". With the club's 1966 move to Anaheim, the logo changed as well. During the 31 years of being known as the "California Angels", the team kept the previous color scheme, however, their logo did change six times during this period. The first logo under this name was very similar to the previous "LA" logo, the only difference was instead of an interlocking "LA", there was an interlocking "CA". Directly after this from 1971 to 1985, the Angels adopted a logo that had the word "Angels" written on an outline of the State of California. Between the years 1971–1972 the "A" was lower-case while from 1973 to 1985 it was upper-case.
It was in 1965, while the stadium was being finished, that Bud Furillo (of the Herald Examiner) coined its nickname, "the Big A" after the tall letter A that once stood beyond left-center field and served as the ballpark's primary scoreboard (it was later relocated to a section of the parking lot, south-east of the stadium).
In 1986, the Angels adopted the "big A" on top of a baseball as their new logo, with the shadow of California in the background. After the "big A" was done in 1992, the Angels returned to their roots and re-adopted the interlocking "CA" logo with some differences. The Angels used this logo from 1993 to 1996, during that time, the "CA" was either on top of a blue circle or with nothing else.
After the renovations of then-Anaheim Stadium and the takeover by the Walt Disney Company, the Angels changed their name to the "Anaheim Angels" along with changing the logo and color scheme. The first logo under Disney removed the halo and had a rather cartoon-like "ANGELS" script with a wing on the "A" over a periwinkle plate and crossed bats. With this change, the Angels' color scheme changed to dark blue and periwinkle. After a run with the "winged" logo from 1997 to 2001, Disney changed the Angels' logo back to a "Big A" with a silver halo over a dark blue baseball diamond. With this logo change, the colors changed to the team's current color scheme: predominantly red with some dark blue and white.
When the team's name changed from the "Anaheim Angels" to the "Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim", the logo changed only slightly, the name "ANAHEIM ANGELS" and the blue baseball diamond were removed leaving only the "Big A".
For the 2011 season, as part of the 50th anniversary of the Angels franchise, the halo on the 'Big A' logo temporarily changed colors from silver to old gold, paying tribute to the Angels logos of the past (and also the 50th Anniversary tradition of gold). The uniforms also reflected the change to the gold halo for this season.
During the 50th Anniversary season the players wore throwback jerseys at each Friday home game reflecting all the different logos and uniforms previously worn by players. Also, Angels alumni from past seasons threw the ceremonious first pitch at every home game during the 50th Anniversary season.
A new patch was added on the uniforms before the 2012 season, featuring a red circle encircling the words "Angels Baseball" and the club logo inside and flanking the year 1961 in the middle, which was the year the Angels franchise was established. With this new patch, the Angels' A with the halo now appears on three different locations of the jersey: the right shoulder, the wordmark, and the left shoulder.
Radio and television
As of 2019, the Angels' flagship radio station is Orange-licensed KLAA 830AM, which is owned by the Angels themselves and carries ESPN Radio programming. It replaces KSPN (710 ESPN), on which frequency had aired most Angels games since the team's inception in 1961. That station, then KMPC, aired games from 1961 to 1996. In 1997 & 1998, the flagship station became KRLA (1110AM). In 1999, it was replaced by KLAC for four seasons, including the 2002 World Series season.
The Angels 2010 broadcast line-up was thrown into doubt with the death of Rory Markas in January 2010. The Angels had announced in November 2009 that Markas and Mark Gubicza would broadcast Angels' televised games, with Terry Smith and José Mota handling the radio side. At the same time, the Angels announced that Steve Physioc and Rex Hudler would not return to the broadcasting team. On March 3, 2010 it was announced that Victor Rojas would replace Markas.
In January 2021, Rojas announced that he would step away from the broadcasting booth. On March 11, 2021, it was announced that Matt Vasgersian would become the new play-by-play voice, alongside Mark Gubicza and Jose Mota. Daron Sutton, son of former Dodger pitcher Don Sutton, was also hired to serve as backup play-by-play voice whenever Vasgersian has assignments with MLB Network and ESPN. Three months into the 2021 season, Sutton and the Angels parted ways, and former Miami Marlins announcer Rich Waltz took over as a substitute. Waltz only lasted until the end of the 2021 season, after which the Angels tapped studio host Patrick O'Neal to serve as Vasgersian's substitute. In addition, the Angels returned to a two-man booth with Mota departing to join the rival Dodgers' broadcast team.
In 2008, KLAA broadcast spring training games on tape delay from the beginning on February 28 to March 9 because of advertiser commitments to some daytime talk shows. Those games were available live only online. Live preseason broadcasts were to begin on March 10.
In 2009, KFWB 980AM started broadcasting 110 weekday games, including postseason games, to better reach listeners in Los Angeles County and other areas to the north. All 162 games plus post season games still air on KLAA.
Angels radio broadcasts are also in Spanish on KWKW 1330AM and KWKU 1220AM.
Bally Sports West, formerly known as Fox Sports West, holds the exclusive rights to the regional telecasts of approximately 150 Angels home and away games. Fox owned and operated MyNetworkTV affiliate KCOP-TV broadcast select games from 2006 to 2011, but opted to move those games to Fox Sports West in 2012. As all MLB teams, select national Angels telecasts can be found on Fox, ESPN, TBS or MLB Network. During Disney's ownership of the franchise, the company planned to start an ESPN West regional sports network in 1999, which would also carry Mighty Ducks of Anaheim ice hockey games, but the plan was abandoned.
During the 2009 season, Physioc and Hudler called about 100 games, while Markas and Gubicza had the remaining game telecasts (about 50, depending on ESPN and Fox exclusive national schedules). The split arrangement dated back to the 2007 season, when Mota and Gubicza were the second team. Markas debuted on TV in a three-game series at the Toronto Blue Jays in August 2007.
All locally broadcast games are produced by FSN regardless of the outlet actually showing the games.
Dick Enberg, who broadcast Angels baseball in the 1970s, is the broadcaster most identified with the Angels, using such phrases as "Oh, my!", "Touch 'em all!" after Angel home runs, and "The halo shines tonight!"
Other former Angels broadcasters over the past three decades include Buddy Blattner, Don Wells, Dave Niehaus, Don Drysdale, Bob Starr, Joe Torre, Paul Olden, Al Wisk, Al Conin, Mario Impemba, Sparky Anderson, Jerry Reuss, Ken Wilson, Ken Brett, and Ron Fairly. Jerry Coleman also spent time with the Angels organization in the early 1970s as a pre-game and post-game host before joining the San Diego Padres broadcast team.
From 1994 until the end of the 2012 season, the public address announcer for most Angels home games was David Courtney, who also served as the public address announcer for the Los Angeles Kings and Los Angeles Clippers and a traffic reporter for Angels flagship KLAA 830 AM until his death on November 29, 2012. Starting in the 2013 season, Michael Araujo, the PA Announcer for the LA Galaxy since 2002, was selected as the new public address announcer for the Angels. Anaheim Ducks announcer Phil Hulett serves as the secondary public address announcer.
Awards and honors
- No. 26 was retired for Gene Autry to indicate he was the team's "26th Man" (25 was, at the time, the player limit for any MLB team's active roster, except in September)
- No. 42 was retired throughout Major League Baseball in 1997 to honor Jackie Robinson.
Out of circulation, but not retired
- No. 1 has been out of circulation since the retirement of Bengie Molina.
- No. 15 has been out of circulation since the retirement of Tim Salmon at the end of the 2006 season.
- No. 45 has been out of circulation since the death of Tyler Skaggs in 2019.
Angels Hall of Fame
|Bold||Member of the Baseball Hall of Fame|
|Member of the Baseball Hall of Fame as an Angel|
|Angels Hall of Fame|
|1990||12, 25||Don Baylor||DH/LF||1977–1982|
|2009||5, 9||Brian Downing||DH/LF/C||1978–1990|
|2012||2002 World Series Team|
Baseball Hall of Fame
The Angels have one member in the Hall of Fame, Vladimir Guerrero, who was inducted in 2018. Also, several Hall of Famers have spent part of their careers with the Angels and the Hall lists the Angels as the "primary team" of Nolan Ryan.
|Los Angeles Angels Hall of Famers|
|Affiliation according to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum|
Ford C. Frick Award recipients
|Los Angeles Angels Ford C. Frick Award recipients|
|Affiliation according to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum|
|Active roster||Inactive roster||Coaches/Other|
60-day injured list
Minor league affiliations
In popular culture
- The Angels are featured in The Jeffersons episode "The Unnatural", which first aired in 1985.
- The Angels play a central role in the 1994 film Angels in the Outfield, a remake of the 1951 film of the same title which featured the Pittsburgh Pirates in the same role.
- The team is featured in the 1988 comedy film The Naked Gun.
- The 1990 comedy Taking Care of Business features a World Series matchup between the Chicago Cubs and the California Angels.
- The 1991 movie Talent for the Game features Edward James Olmos as a baseball scout for the California Angels.
- During Disney's ownership of the Angels, the team was featured in the films Air Bud: Seventh Inning Fetch, Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, and TV movie Angels in the Infield.
- In 2014, the Angels and Angel Stadium were featured in season 8 of The Big Bang Theory in an episode titled "The First Pitch Insufficiency".
- Previously known as Anaheim Stadium from 1966 to 1997 and Edison International Field from 1998 to 2003
- Dodger Stadium referred to as "Chavez Ravine Stadium" by the team
- No fans were allowed at games during the 2020 Major League Baseball regular season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Angel Stadium operated at 33% capacity From April to June 17 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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The "A" logo and use of the color red emphasize the current brand imagery.
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In 2013, the City Council initially approved a memorandum of understanding that would allow the team to strip the "of Anaheim" from its name, as well as other financial arrangements. Follow-up negotiations, however, haven't happened – and the Angels have threatened to leave Anaheim.
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According to a statement from Fox Sports and sent, it says, on behalf of Fox Sports West and the Angels, Rex Hudler and Steve Physioc will no longer cover Angels games for the local sports network.
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