The Only Five Other Things That Happened to the Los Angeles Angles Besides Shohei Ohtani


The Los Angeles Angles are an unserious franchise. They're currently considering whether or not they should trade away Shohei Ohtani, the modern Babe Ruth and MLB home run leader who also leads the team in hits, batting average, OBP, wins, strikeouts and ERA. It's insane, but when you consider the history of this franchise, it makes perfect sense.

With Ohtani possibly playing his final home game in Anaheim last weekend, the media apparently got together to take a group picture to commemorate the event. This is a franchise that still has Mike Trout, one of the greatest players ever. Yet the thought that Ohtani might be leaving makes the entire franchise seem completely trivial. This is what inspired this depressing, but sometimes funny, look back at the best moments in Angels history.

2002 World Series

The Los Angeles Angels actually won a World Series in 2002. Seriously. Going into that postseason, they had only won three pennants and had never been to the World Series. Then out of nowhere they made the '02 World Series and somehow won while Barry Bonds went 8-for-17 with four home runs and 13 walks. The Angels have actually won a World Series more recently than half the teams in baseball.

Name Changes

The Los Angeles Angels started as a California League team in 1892. The team name is literally just the translation of the name of the city. In 1961, Gene Autry bought the rights to the franchise from Phil Wrigley and it became an MLB expansion team that played home games at LA's Wrigley Field, which is where parts of the original Angels in the Outfield (1951) was filmed. The team moved to Chavez Ravine Stadium (future Dodger Stadium) in 1962 and played there until 1965. Near the end of the '65 season, they changed the team name to the California Angels and then moved to what is now Angel Stadium in 1966.

Despite the fact that the team has remained in the same place for nearly six decades, they have rebranded three more times as the Anaheim Angles, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and now back to the Los Angeles Angles, while they haven't actually played in Los Angeles since 1965. It's like they've relocated multiple times without ever moving.

So to recap, the Los Angeles Angels originally played at Wrigley Field, haven't been in Los Angeles in 58 years, and keep changing their name despite never moving from what is now one of the oldest stadiums in America.

Charlie Sheen

Charlie Sheen reportedly paid just $6,500 for 2,615 tickets on on Friday, April 19, 1996 when the Detroit Tigers were in town. Sheen wanted to catch a Cecil Fielder home run. Fielder went 0-for-3 with a walk and the Angels won in front of an announced attendance of 32,693. The bad news is that there were closer to 30,000 fans in attendance. The worse news is that most of them had to pay more than $2.48 a ticket.

Nolan Ryan's Prime

There really should be a national conversation about Nolan Ryan. Michael Jordan gets brought up on an hourly basis and he hasn't played in two decades. Why isn't anyone ever debating Nolan Ryan's GOAT status? Dude played in the 60's, 70's, 80's and 90's. He's baseball's all-time leader in strikeouts with 5,714, nearly a thousand more than Randy Johnson, who is in second place. And he played one of the primes of his career with the Angels. He struck out 2,416 batters in eight seasons with the Angels. That alone is one of the 50 largest totals in MLB history. And yet no one remembers it.

Movie Appearances

So the Angels show up in cinema because they're close to LA or because no one pays any attention to their actual history? You make the call.

As the Minnesota Twins will never be much more than Little Big League, the Angels will never be much more than the movie based on their team name which was based on the name of the city where they don't even play.

The Dodgers are a historic American institution. This is a franchise that actually did switch cities and make it count, going from Brooklyn to Los Angeles. They have Jackie Robinson, Sandy Koufax, and Vin Scully. That's why they get a prestige cameo in The Sandlot. Meanwhile, the Angels have Reggie Jackson in the twilight of his career trying to murder the Queen.

Of course this was filmed at Dodger Stadium, making this the only time they've actually played at home in Los Angeles in the last half-century.