anaheim angels history

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anaheim angels history

What’s in a name you might ask? Well apparently an awful lot if you’re willing to endure a jury trial to keep it. That’s just what Arturo “Arte” Moreno, the owner of the Angels baseball franchise, had to endure to make sure that the club’s official name, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, appeared on tickets for the 2006 season. In fact this was the fourth time in the Angel’s forty-five year history that the team had undergone a name change. Back in 1961 when legendary singing cowboy star Gene Autry bought the team it was called simply the Los Angeles Angels. Then, in 1965, Autry changed the name to the California Angels. That name stood for over 30 years. In 1977, with Autry in poor health, the Walt Disney Company exercised its interests as minority owners to influence the team’s activities. It was their idea to change the name of the club to the Los Angeles Angels.

In 2003, Disney sold the team to Angels Baseball, L.P., headed by Moreno who became the first Hispanic to own a major American sports franchise. In 2005, Moreno decided to change the team’s name once again to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. He firmly believed the name reaffirmed the team’s commitment to being the American League’s representative to the greater Los Angeles area. Anaheim city officials did not agree and a lawsuit followed. A verdict was reached on February 9th 2006 in favor of the Angels who were granted the right to keep the new name.

On the field, manager Mike Scioscia has adopted a “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” attitude with the team. The Angels have won back-to-back American League Western Division titles, falling short of the pennant by losing to the World Series champion Chicago White Sox in five games. Almost all members of the Angel’s solid lineup will be returning, led by power hitting right fielder Vladimir Guerrero who hit .317 last season with 32 homers and 108 runs batted in. Darin Erstad and speedy Garret Anderson complete the outfield while Adam Kennedy and Orlando Cabrera patrol the infield around second base. A top notch pitching staff remains in place as well, despite the fact that the Angels have only one left-handed pitcher in the bunch. Right-handed ace Bartolo Colon was 21-8 last season on his way to winning his first Cy Young award. John Lackey, Ervin Santana and Kelvim Escobar round out the staff strengthened even more by the off-season acquisition of Jeff Weaver from the Los Angeles Dodgers. Closer extraordinaire Francisco Rodriguez who garnered 45 saves for the Angels last year looms large in the bullpen and is joined this season by J.C. Romero, that lone lefty we mentioned, who joins the club from the Minnesota Twins.

So, whatever fans choose to call them, they should make plans to get their Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim tickets early for what looks to be another winning season in southern California.


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