The Halos had the unenviable chance of going from first to worst. They can thank their lucky starts that the Mariners were in the AL West or that would have happened. How can a team win 23 less games in just one year’s time ? Lots of things surely happened, but the key subtraction from their ‘79 team was the loss of ace Nolan Ryan to free agency. It’s very tough to replace a number 1 starter, but even harder to replace a larger than life legend like Ryan who in 8 seasons in SoCal authored 4 no-hitters and countless other near misses. Losing 1979 AL MVP Don Baylor to injury for more than half the season. Even when in the lineup Baylor was barely affective. Going from 36 to single digit homers from your top hitter takes a huge bite out of any offense. Besides losing Ryan the pitching staff lost Frank Tanana’s fast ball. The usually overpowering Tanana’s fastball was AWOL as his strikeout total, and win totals plummeted. The Halos were near the bottom of every offensive and defensive category. This was a team that looked nothing like a defending division champ. Lost in all the negativity was a solid .331 season from free agent signee Rod Carew.
18 new cards were created to complete the set.
A pretty normal offering of photos comprised this updated set. If anyone has Gil Kubski in an Angel uniform and in color. Please give me a shout. Can’t help but feel bad for Fregosi as he folds his arms and thinks to himself, “Can anyone here play this game”. Heck most managers think that at times. Only Casey had the gumption to say it. I bet Jason Thompson wished he was still in Detroit and not here having to fill Don Baylor’s big shoes.