The Los Angeles Angels are a Major League Baseball (MLB) team that plays out of Angel Stadium of Anaheim in Anaheim, California. The team is a member of the American League West (AL) division. They have played their games at their current stadium since 1966.
The franchise was founded in 1961 by Gene Autry as one of the MLB’s first two expansion teams.
The team was originally named after an earlier Angels franchise that played in the Minor Leagues. Originally they played their games in Los Angeles until they moved to Anaheim. Due to the move, their original name was the “California Angels”, which lasted from 1965 to 1998. The team was then known as the Anaheim Angels from 1997 to 2004. After that, “Los Angeles” was added to the name in 2005, with Anaheim remaining as part of the name due to a lease agreement with the city of Anaheim.
You might be surprised, but the Angels have a rich history of traditions that fans have come to know, love, and expect. These are just a few that stand out.
“Win One For the Cowboy” – This
mantra is a staple that is rooted in Angels history. The saying came
from the founder and previous owner, Gene Autry, who never saw his
team win a World Series in the 38 years he served as owner. The team
experienced many losses and losing seasons. By the time the team won
their first World Series, Gene Autry had been dead for four
After winning the game, Angels player Tim Salmon ran into the home dugout and took out one of Autry’s White Stetson hats in honor of the “singing cowboy”. Autry’s #26 was retired as he was considered the “26th man on the field”.
“California Spectacular” – The California Spectacular is a formation of artificial rocks made to look like one of California’s desert mountains. The California Spectacular has a running waterfall that shoots fireworks before every game. Fireworks also shoot whenever the Angels score a home run or win a home game.
“Calling All Angels” – This song by Train is played at the start of every game. It’s played along with a video that shows the franchise’s historical moments. It’s accompanied with an instrumental version of “Spirit in the Sky”.
“Bro Hymn” – This song has become the Angels’ home run song since 2016. It replaced the older home run songs, “Song 2” by Blur, “Chelsea Dagger” by the Fratellis, and Kemkraft 400” by Zombie Nation among others.
“Light That Baby Up!” – Whenever the Angels score a home run, you can often hear fans shout this phrase referring to the stadiums 230 foot tall letter “A” marquee sign. It can also be heard after Angels wins during home games and is often used when the sign is lit up after home or away victories.
The Rally Monkey – The Rally Monkey is
the Angels mascot that appears if the angels are losing a game or if
the game is tied from the 7th inning on. Sometimes it can appear
earlier if hte situation if particularly dire for the Angels. The
Rally Monkey also appears on the scoreboard.
The mascot was born in 2000 when the scoreboard showed a clip from Ace Venture: Pet Detective after which the Angels rallied to win the game. The clip proved to be so popular that the team hired Katie, a white haired capuchin monkey, to star in various original clips that would show up during later games.
About Angel Stadium
Angel Stadium of Anaheim, formerly known as Anaheim Stadium, is a modern-style ballpark located in Anaheim, California. Since it’s April 19, 1966 opening, the ballpark has served as the home for the Los Angeles Angels of MLB fame. The arena was also home to the Los Angeles Rams of the NFL from 1980 to 1994.
At this time, it is the fourth oldest active MLB stadium behind Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, and Dodger Stadium. It also holds the honor of being the second-oldest stadium in the American League and has hosted the 1967, 1989, and 2010 MLB All-Star Games.
Fans often call the stadium by the nickname “The Big A”, which was a name coined by Herald Examiner Sports Editor, Bud Furillo. The name may have referred to the landmark “Big A” sign and electronic marquee that is famous among baseball fans.The famous halo design is located near the top of the 230-foot tall, 210-ton sign and is illuminated following Angels wins whether they were at home or on the road. This led to the famous Angels fan phrase “Light that Baby Up!”
Besides baseball, Angel Stadium of Anaheim has seen use for a variety of other events. For example, it’s often used to host high school and college football games, NFL pre-season games, and was used for the short-lived World Football League. Evangelists Billy Graham and Greg Laune used the venue for a combined 22 crusades. And the stadium has, of course, been used to host concerts.
But more than that, the stadium also houses the studios and offices of the Angels’ own flagship radio station KLAA (830 AM).
Let’s not forget that, perhaps owing to Disney’s partial ownership of the team, has led to its use in several motion pictures. For example, the final sequence of The Naked Gun; From the Files of Police Squad! Made use of the ballpark. Exterior scenes were shot at the ballpark. The 1988 film, My Stepmother is an Alien, had a scene shot in the stadium with Kim Basinger speaking to an extraterrestrial counsel. The ballpark was also featured in the 1990 comedy Taking Care of Business.
Ever since the team’s founding, it has found its place in the heart of baseball fans. A huge part of this is its appeal, especially due to its appearances in films. But another huge part is its history of success in the sport. For example, the team has managed these feats:
- 1 World Series titles 2002
- 1 AL Pennants 2002
- 9 AL West Division titles 1979, 1982, 1986, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2014
- 1 Wild card berths 2002
The Angels have also had one player that was admitted in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Vladimir Guerrero was inducted in 2018. Several inductees have also spent part of their careers with the Angels, including Nolan Ryan. In addition, Jerry Coleman was awarded the Ford C. Frick Award.