My "real" favorite angel is Nolan Ryan. But when I was a kid, he was already on the Astros. So I got swept up in Wally World. Poster on the wall. Starting Lineup figure. All his cards. Throughout the late 80s I followed Wally, waiting for the magical postseason to happen after the crushing defeat in '86. Eventually my interest in baseball waned, and I missed Wally's years in KC and SD.
Wally had a very solid career. He compares favorably in basic stats to Don Mattingly, but Mattingly has better "star stats" - It's an interesting study of the difference between a Good and Very Good player. Even in Wally's waning years, he was considered a strong addition to a team, or at least the Braves thought so.
"December 22, 1999: Traded by the San Diego Padres with Reggie Sanders and Quilvio Veras to the Atlanta Braves for Bret Boone, Ryan Klesko, and Jason Shiell."
That's a couple of good names in there. Wally didn't pan out for the Braves though, and spent one last year in Anaheim before retiring an Angel.
Wally may not have been great, but him, Devon White, Chili Davis, Brian Downing and Bob Boone are the Angels of my Childhood. I watched Mark McLemore rehab in Palm Springs. I watched and Dante Bichette in Palm Springs as well, and have a ball signed by the entire Palm Springs Angels team from some year I don't even recall. My dad took me golfing with him one day and we met a young pitcher from the team, who got us tickets to the game that night and the ball. I don't even recall his name - I wish I did. If I could find PS Angels rosters somewhere, I could probably remember.
Lifelong Angels fan. Thanks Wally.
Who's your favorite Angel?