Friday, March 5, 2010

1972 - Things start to get interesting.

1972 was an interesting year for the Angels.  On December 10th of the previous year, the face of the franchise was traded to the Mets.  Jim Fregosi, who was like a son to Mr. Autry, was sent packing in a deal that (at the time) had Halo Nation in an uproar.

It turned out to be the best trade the Angels have ever made.

Why?  In addition to catcher Frank Estrada, pitcher Don Rose and outfielder Leroy Stanton, the Angels received a hard-throwing (but very wild) right-hander by the name of Nolan Ryan.

Ryan had won a World Series ring in New York in 1969, but after a horrible second half in 1971, the Mets decided they couldn't wait around to see if Ryan could turn things around.  The Angels were more than happy to give him that chance, and boy did it pay off.

While the team went 75-80 for manager Del Rice, Ryan would account for 25% of those wins, going 19-16 with a 2.28 ERA and a ridiculous 329 strikeouts (although he still walked 157 batters).  Together with Clyde Wright's 18-11, 2.98 record, things were starting to look up for the Angels' pitching staff.

The offense didn't fare quite as well, with Bob (father of recent Angel Darren) Oliver's 19 home runs and 70 RBI, and Ken Berry's .289 batting average.  Sandy Alomar stole 20 bags, and Vada Pinson swiped 17.

The 1972 card design draws a mixed reaction from fans.  I like the movie marquee-like team names at the top, but some of the color combinations Topps used with the other teams are a bit of an eyesore.  Most of the pictures (the ones that don't have the horrible airbrushing when the player's photo was taken when he was on another team) are from 1971, which was the only season that the Angels used the lower-case 'a' on the hats and jerseys.  It's interesting to see that in the earlier cards in the set, there is no halo over the 'a' on the jerseys, but it's there in the later cards, where the pictures were taken months later.

1972 Topps Angels Checklist

19 - Billy Cowan
55 - Clyde Wright
71 - Angels Team
102 - Lloyd Allen
115 - Jim Fregosi
135 - Vada Pinson
160 - Andy Messersmith
196 - Mel Queen
213 - Kusnyr/Parkr/Silvrio
253 - Sandy Alomar
272 - Mickey Rivers
289 - Syd O'Brien
354 - Tom Murphy
379 - Ken Berry
404 - Jeff Torborg
419 - Jim Spencer
462 - Rickey Clark
521 - Alan Foster
541 - Roger Repoz
561 - Leo Cardenas
562 - Leo Cardenas - In Action
595 - Nolan Ryan
629 - Paul Doyle
656 - Rudy May
672 - Archie Reynolds
689 - Eddie Fisher
718 - Del Rice
765 - Ken McMullen

Topps Posters Inserts
18 Andy Messersmith Topps Posters

regular cards: 28

inserts: 1

1 comment:

  1. I might need your help. I'm thinking of trying to collect the Angels cards that had pictures taken at spring training in Palm Springs, and possibly the class A Palm Springs Angels. I'm thinking about this since I grew up in Palm Springs. I was wondering if you can differeniate the pics from Palm Springs, Arizona or other stadiums so I can get a good list.