1961 Los Angeles Angels season

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
1961 Los Angeles Angels
Major League affiliations
Location
Other information
Owner(s) Gene Autry
Manager(s) Bill Rigney
Local television KHJ
Local radio KMPC
(Bob Kelley, Don Wells, Steve Bailey)
     Next season

The 1961 Los Angeles Angels season ended with the Angels finishing 8th in the American League with a record of 70-91, 38½ games behind the World Champion New York Yankees. It was the Angels' first season in franchise history, and their only season at Wrigley Field. Gene Autry owned the franchise, which was created as a rival to the Los Angeles Dodgers,[citation needed] who played that year at the Coliseum before moving to nearby Dodger Stadium in 1962.

Offseason[edit]

The Angels, along with the new Washington Senators, were the first ever American League expansion teams. Both teams participated in Major League Baseball's first ever expansion draft. The Angels had the first pick in the 1960 Major League Baseball expansion draft, which they used to select Eli Grba from the New York Yankees. Grba wound up playing two-plus seasons for Los Angeles before returning to the minor leagues.

Notable transactions[edit]

Regular season[edit]

As an expansion team, the Angels were not expected to do well. However, they not only finished ahead of the Senators, but also the Kansas City A's, who tied the Senators for last place, nine games behind Los Angeles.

Season standings[edit]

American League W L Pct. GB
New York Yankees 109 53 .673 --
Detroit Tigers 101 61 .623 8
Baltimore Orioles 95 67 .586 14
Chicago White Sox 86 76 .531 23
Cleveland Indians 78 83 .484 30.5
Boston Red Sox 76 86 .469 33
Minnesota Twins 70 90 .438 38
Los Angeles Angels 70 91 .435 38.5
Kansas City Athletics 61 100 .379 47.5
Washington Senators 61 100 .379 47.5

Offense[edit]

The Angels were no stranger to offense in their first season, with five players hitting 20 or more home runs, a mark which at the time was considered a remarkable feat.[citation needed] Leon Wagner, who led the team with 28 home runs, was one of the team's best offensive threats, also leading the team by slugging .517. The other players who hit 20 home runs were Ken Hunt (25), Lee Thomas (24), Earl Averill, Jr. (21), and Steve Bilko (20). Albie Pearson, who led the team in batting average, had an on-base percentage of .420, also a mark that was considered more valuable than the current game.[citation needed] Pearson led the team in several other offensive categories, leading the team in stolen bases (11), runs (92), and walks (96). Lee Thomas, who ended the season second on the team in batting at .284, led the team in hits, with 128, edging out Wagner by 1 hit.

Pitching[edit]

The Angels had a solid starting rotation in their first season. Ken McBride, who led the team with 12 wins, also led the team with 15 losses. Eli Grba had a 11-13 record, good enough for second in both wins and losses amongst the team's pitchers. Ted Bowsfield was the Angels' only starter with a winning record, going 11-8. McBride had 180 strikeouts, 75 more than Grba, who was second on the team with 105. As a team, the Angels led the American League, throwing more strikeouts than any of the other 9 teams.[7] Art Fowler and Tom Morgan were the Angels' top two in saves, with 11 and 10, respectively, leading the team to finish second in the American League in that category.

Notable transactions[edit]

Roster[edit]

1961 Los Angeles Angels
Roster
Pitchers Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders

Other batters

Manager

Coaches

Player stats[edit]

Batting[edit]

Starters by position[edit]

Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Pos Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
C Averill, EarlEarl Averill 115 323 86 .266 21 59
1B Bilko, SteveSteve Bilko 114 294 82 .279 20 59
LF Wagner, LeonLeon Wagner 133 453 127 .280 28 79
CF Hunt, KenKen Hunt 149 479 122 .255 25 84
RF Pearson, AlbieAlbie Pearson 144 427 123 .288 7 41

Other batters[edit]

Note: G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
Thomas, LeeLee Thomas 130 450 128 .284 24 70
Cerv, BobBob Cerv 18 57 9 .158 2 6
Fregosi, JimJim Fregosi 11 27 6 .222 0 3
Johnson, LouLou Johnson 1 0 0 ---- 0 0

Pitching[edit]

Starting pitchers[edit]

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO
McBride, KenKen McBride 38 241.2 12 15 3.65 180
Grba, EliEli Grba 40 211.2 11 13 4.25 105
Chance, DeanDean Chance 5 18.1 0 2 6.87 11

Other pitchers[edit]

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Bowsfield, TedTed Bowsfield 41 157 11 8 3.73 88
Duren, RyneRyne Duren 40 99 6 12 5.18 108
Casale, JerryJerry Casale 13 42.2 1 5 6.54 35

Relief pitchers[edit]

Note: G = Games pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; SV = Saves; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G W L SV ERA SO
Morgan, TomTom Morgan 59 8 2 10 2.36 39
Fowler, ArtArt Fowler 53 5 8 11 3.64 78
Donohue, JimJim Donohue 38 4 6 5 4.31 79
James, JohnnyJohnny James 36 0 2 0 5.30 41
Garver, NedNed Garver 12 0 3 0 5.59 9
Clevenger, TexTex Clevenger 12 2 1 1 1.69 11
Heman, RussRuss Heman 6 0 0 0 1.80 2

Farm system[edit]

Level Team League Manager
AAA Dallas-Fort Worth Rangers American Association Walker Cooper
D Statesville Owls Western Carolinas League George Wilson

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]