The 10 greatest Angels of all time, No. 1: Nolan Ryan

By Houston Mitchell

2:00 PM EDT, June 3, 2013


Remember, any Angel was eligible, including managers, owners, announcers, etc. Points were assigned based on where you listed the person on the ballot. Your first choice received 12 points, second choice 10, third place eight, all the way down to one point for 10th place.

So without further ado, here is No. 1:

No. 1: Nolan Ryan (348 first-place votes), 8,242 points

Why is Nolan Ryan No. 1 on this list? Here's why (his numbers with the Angels): 288 games started, 156 complete games, four no-hitters, 138-121 record, 3.07 ERA, 2,416 strikeouts in 2,181.1 innings. Need I elaborate?

Ryan was acquired on Dec. 10, 1971, along with Frank Estrada, Don Rose and Lee Stanton, from the New York Mets for Jim Fregosi, who was voted the fifth-greatest Angel of all time.

Ryan played eight seasons for the Angels before he was allowed to leave as a free agent, with the famous line by then-GM Buzzie Bavasi, "We only need to replace Ryan with two 8–7 pitchers." Ryan had just finished the 1979 season with a 16-14 record.

Ryan went on to pitch for 14 more seasons. The Angels retired his number (30) in 1992.


The 10 greatest Angels, No. 10: Frank Tanana

The 10 greatest Angels, No. 9: Chuck Finley

The 10 greatest Angels, No. 8: Darin Erstad

The 10 greatest Angels, No. 7: Rod Carew

The 10 greatest Angels, No. 6: Gene Autry

The 10 greatest Angels, No. 5: Jim Fregosi

The 10 greatest Angels, No. 4: Garret Anderson

The 10 greatest Angels, No. 3: Brian Downing

The 10 greatest Angels, No. 2: Tim Salmon