#45 - Geoff Zahn, LH SP
Without Geoff Zahn, the 1982 Angels don't win the A.L. Western Division. Lefty Zahn led the staff with 18 wins. He was just a smidgen better than Ken Forsch that season, and as an Angel, brought some ex-Dodger cred to the franchise as a free agent signing after the unceremonious (and stupid) non-pursuit of Nolan Ryan after the 1979 season. Other than 1982, Geoff was a .500 pitcher for the Halos in the other three full seasons he took the mound as a starter.
Rob McMillin of the 6-4-2 Southern California Baseball Blog looks back at Zahn's career:
Drafted by the White Sox in 1966, the Tigers in 1967, the Red Sox again in 1967, and the Dodgers in 1968 -- with whom he ultimately signed -- Geoff Zahn took his time getting to the majors. By the time he arrived, he was 27, fairly old for a prospect. In his first full season at age 28, he proved worth the wait, posting a 2.03 ERA that was nearly a run and a half lower than league average. Traded to the Cubs for Tommy John, he proceeded to have an acceptable half season with Chicago, but lasted only four appearances before being sent down to Wichita. Released by the Cubs, he was picked up as a free agent by Minnesota, where a new hard slider allowed him to stick at the major league level for four years, winning double digits every year with mediocre teams. Leaving the Twins in 1980, he joined the Angels' employ as a free agent.
He continued his streak of double-digit wins with the Angels, in 1982 going 18-8 and leading the team in regular season victories that year, and even finished sixth in the Cy Young voting that year. Unfortunately, he melted down during the postseason against the "Harvey's Wallbangers" Brewers, giving up three earned runs in only three and two third innings, losing the first of three in a row that would end the team's postseason. In 1983, an inflamed shoulder cost him a month's time, snapping a six-year streak of ten or more wins. He came back in 1984 to go 13-10, but arm trouble got him early in 1985, ending his career.