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Angels reach historic milestone in playing their 10,000th game


Sixty-third year for franchise

The Angels played their 10,000th game this week, facing the Baltimore Orioles Monday night at Angel Stadium.

Coincidentally, the Angels also played their first game against the Orioles, winning 7-2 on April 11, 1961, in Baltimore, with Ted Kluszewski hitting two home runs and driving in five runs and Eli Grba pitching a complete game, limiting the Orioles to six hits and one earned run.

The Angels then lost their next eight games.

The Angels have a 4,967-5,029 record for a .497 winning percentage. They have also had three games end in ties, one each in 1961 and 1969 that were called on account of rain and the other on April 7, 1974, at Chicago's Comiskey Park that was called because of snow and gusting wind.

The Angels came into existence on Dec. 6, 1960, when a group headed by entertainer turned radio station owner Gene Autry was awarded an American League expansion franchise, which he named Angels for the Pacific Coast League team that had played in the city from 1903 through 1957, then moved to Spokane, Washington, when the Brooklyn Dodgers moved to Los Angeles.

The Angels have had three home stadiums and four names. They played at since-demolished Wrigley Field in South Los Angeles, the home of the Pacific Coast League Angels, during their inaugural 1961 season, at Dodger Stadium, which they referred to as Chavez Ravine, from 1962 to 1965, and what is now Angel Stadium since 1966.

They switched from the original Los Angeles Angels to California Angels on Sept. 2, 1965, over Southern California and Golden West, in preparation for the move to Anaheim. “In the five years we have been the only American League team in the state of California, we have had people from all over the state become Angel fans,'' team president Bob Reynolds said in a statement. “We want to remain a part of the entire state.''

The team changed its name to Anaheim Angels for the 1997 season and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for the 2005 season, dropping the “of Anaheim'' portion for the 2016 season.

The Angels didn't reach the postseason until their 19th season, 1979, winning the American League West, but losing the League Championship Series to the Orioles three games to one.

The Angels next reached the postseason in 1982, future Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson's first season with the team, winning the first two games of the League Championship Series against the Milwaukee Brewers, then lost the next three, the first MLB team to lose a best-of-five series after taking a 2-0 lead.

Gene Mauch resigned as manager following the season, but returned in the 1985 season. He was also the manager in 1986 when the Angels were one strike away from the World Series, leading the Boston Red Sox three games to one and 5-4 when Dave Henderson hit a two-run home run.

The Angels rallied for a run in the bottom of the ninth, but Boston scored what proved to be the winning run in the 11th, then won Games 6 and 7 in Fenway Park.

The Angels did not return to the postseason until 2002, when as a wild-card team, they won their first World Series.

The Angels have had four players selected as the American League's MVP -- Don Baylor (1979), Vladimir Guerrero (2004), Mike Trout (2014, 2016 and 2019) and Shohei Ohtani (2021 and 2023).

Two Angels have won the Cy Young Award–Dean Chance (1964) and Bartolo Colon (2005). Three have been American League Rookie of the Year–Tim Salmon (1993), Trout (2012) and Ohtani (2018).

Mike Scioscia won the American League Manager of the Year award twice in his 19 seasons, 2002 and 2009.

While Guerrero is the only Hall of Famer with an Angels cap insignia on his plaque, 11 other Hall of Famers played with the Angels, including Nolan Ryan, Rod Carew and Reggie Jackson..