1961 Los Angeles Angels season: Wikis

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1961 Los Angeles Angels
Major league affiliations
Location
1961 Information
Owner(s) Gene Autry
Manager(s) Bill Rigney
Local television KHJ
Local radio KMPC
(Bob Kelley, Don Wells, Steve Bailey)

The Los Angeles Angels 1961 season ended with the Angels finishing 8th in the American League with a record of 70-91. It was the Angels' first season in franchise history, and their only season at Wrigley Field. Gene Autry, whom the Angels' 2002 World Series championship was dedicated to, owned the franchise, which was created as a rival to the Los Angeles Dodgers, who played that year at the Coliseum before moving to nearby Dodger Stadium in 1962.

Offseason

Regular season

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Season standings

American League W L Pct. GB
New York Yankees 109 53 .673 --
Detroit Tigers 101 61 .623 8
Baltimore Orioles 95 67 .623 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

Notable transactions

Offense

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

Pitching

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 12 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 threw a dominating 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. Art Fowler and Tom Morgan were the Angels' top-two save winners, who as a team ranked 2nd in the American League, with 11 and 10, respectively.

Roster

1961 Los Angeles Angels roster
Roster
Pitchers Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders

Other batters

Manager

Coaches

Player stats

Batting

Starters by position

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
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

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

Pitching

Starting pitchers

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

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

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

Player G W L SV ERA SO
Fowler, ArtArt Fowler 53 5 8 11 3.64 78
Morgan, TomTom Morgan 59 8 2 10 2.36 39

Farm system

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

Notes

See also

Other Los Angeles–based teams in 1961

References

Preceded by
First Season
Los Angeles Angels seasons
1961
Succeeded by
1962

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