Angels All-Time ERA Leaders
The Los Angeles Angels have been many names over the years since coming into the league as an expansion team in 1961, but they have always been in Anaheim. They’ve been the LA Angels, California Angels, Anaheim Angels, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim…am I missing any? One thing is for sure. After experiencing many lean years, the team has been dominant as of late as I write this in 2010, and won their first championship in 2002 against their state rival Giants. Here is a short list of the Angels’ all-time leaders in ERA to date:
Andy Messersmith (2.78)—Andy Messersmith began his career with the Angels and pitched for them from 1968 to 1972. He ranks first in the team’s history with a 2.78 ERA, and had a career best 2.21 mark as a relief pitcher his rookie year. But Messersmith’s best overall season as an Angel was arguably 1969. That year, Messersmith went 16-11 with a 2.52 ERA and 211 strikeouts.
Dean Chance (2.83)—Dean Chance also began his career with the Angels, and played in Anaheim from 1961 to 1966. Chance still ranks second in franchise history with a 2.83 earned run average, and his best season was in an Angels’ uniform in 1964. That year, Chance went 20-9 (tied career high in wins), with a career best 1.65 ERA, 207 strikeouts, 15 complete games and 11 shutouts. The ERA, wins, complete games and shutouts all led the AL, and as a results Chance won the American League Cy Young that year, and also finished fifth in the AL MVP voting.
Troy Percival (2.99)—Troy Percival was one of the most dominant relief pitchers of his time, and pitched for the Angels from 1995 to 2004. Percival ranks third in Angels’ history with a 2.99 ERA, and had a career best 1.80 mark with St. Louis. But his best season as an Angel may have been his best overall—in 2002, the year the Angels won it all. That year, Percival went 4-1 with a 1.92 ERA, 40 saves, and 68 strikeouts in just 56 innings of work.
Scot Shields (3.03)—Scot Shields has been with the Angels his entire career, from 2001 until now as I write this in 2010. He has mostly been a relief pitcher and a very good one at that. Shields ranks fourth in team history with a 3.03 earned run average, and in 2001 he appeared in 8 games without giving up an earned run. But his best overall season was probably 2005. That year, Shields had a career high in wins (10, against 11 losses), 2.75 ERA, 7 saves, and 98 strikeouts in 91 innings pitched.
Nolan Ryan (3.07)—Nolan Ryan began his career with the Mets, but after being traded to the Angels he really blossomed. Ryan pitched for the Angels from 1972 to 1979, and ranks fifth in franchise history with a 3.07 ERA. His best ERA was a 1.69 mark with Houston in 1981. But Ryan’s best season as an Angel was probably 1974. That year, Ryan went 22-16 (career high in wins), with a 2.89 ERA and 367 strikeouts (led the American League).