#95 - Albie Pearson, OF
Those of us compiling this list had only the stats and lore to guide us on this pick. My entire knowledge of Pearson prior to looking up any of his stats was the recollection of his name always being mentioned as an Angel great through the early 1980s. And they stand the test still today. The highlight that stands out is leading the American League in runs scored with 115 in 1962, an abberantly offense-heavy season around the majors.
6-4-2's Rob McMillin fills us in:
5'5 1/2" and all of 140 lbs, Albie Pearson was an original 1961 Angel and in some ways, a predecessor to David Eckstein. Selected in the 1960 draft from the Orioles, he came up with the Washington Senators, where he was voted Rookie of the Year in 1958 following a .275 avg..354 OBP.358 Slugging season as an outfielder. A local product, he lettered in football, baseball, basketball, track, and tennis at El Monte High School.
Principally used as a center-right fielder, the diminutive Pearson hit for little power; every single year with the Angels, and in fact all years but one of his career, his on base percentage outweighed his slugging percentage. Well below league average as a power hitter but good at drawing walks, he batted leadoff for four years, until the Angels moved him to the two hole in 1965. Hitting only 28 home runs in an offensively-challenged era, he nonetheless led the fledgling Angels in either OBP or average for the team's first three years of its existence. His career essentially ended after a1966 spring training incident in which he aggravated a pre-existing back condition (he was born with an incomplete spinal column).
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