Before we get too much further into our countdown thingy, there is something that I have got to throw out there:
If Nolan Ryan doesn't end up numero uno on the big listo of the greatest Angels, I am sure that I am not the only one who is going to be hot.
I don't know much about win-shares (but am willing to learn), and I don't know much about all the other fancy pants stats we have out there now, but some things are beyond numbers.
Nolan Ryan WAS the Angels.
In the midst of their long-term suck-ativity, there was only one guy who was the source of pride for the few downtrodden fans of the Halos.
When the Angels were a joke of a team, he was the one who made all the pain tolerable. Even when he was in pain (bone chips, hamstrings) he was the focus of the team.
His impact could be seen at the box office like no other Angel. I went to tons of games where less than 10K were scattered in those orange seats, but when Ryan pitched, the place was electric.
In considering Ryan's ranking in Angel lore, we need to consider his entire career, not just those spent in Anaheim. Bavasi ruined our destiny and we were forced to share our bounty with Houston and Texas--it was not Ryan's fault that he was not an Angel all those years.
I know that he walked far too many people and was only a .500 pitcher for his career, but when Ryan took the mound we felt like champions before we ever were.