Angel Debuts - 1974

The big offseason trade let all-time Angel great Clyde Wright go, along with Steve Barber, Ken Berry, Art Kusnyer and cash to the then-American League Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for Ellie Rodriguez, Skip Lockwood, Gary Ryerson, Ollie Brown and Joe Lahoud. Ryerson would languish in the minor leagues and Brown would be sold to the Astros at the end of Spring Training. Two of the three remaining new Angels would debut on Opening Day.

244. Denny Doyle
245. Ellie Rodriguez
246. Joe Lahoud
247. Dick Selma

Opening Day 1974 was on April 5 at old Comiskey Park in Chicago, where new Angel Second Baseman Denny Doyle, acquired from Philadelphia in December, batted 2nd and grounded out in the first inning. Catcher Ellie Rodriguez was on the receiving end of opening day starter Nolan Ryan. Joe Lahoud debuted as an Angel as a pinch runner for Bobby Valentine in the 7th inning and scored the go ahead run to make it 3-2 before the game became an 8-2 laugher with Dick Selma pitching the 9th inning in pleasant mop-up relief. Skip Lockwood would pitch an inning of scoreless relief on April 7 while Ed Figueroa pitched 2 innings of scoreless relief in the home opener on April 9.

248. Skip Lockwood
249. Ed Figueroa
250. Bill Stoneman

Pitcher Bill Stoneman was sold to the Angels just before the 1974 season began. His Angel debut was as the starter in a Wednesday Night game on April 17 at Anaheim Stadium. He would not factor into the decision of that evening's win, but would factor into the team's greatest era when he became its General Manager a quarter-century later.

251. Morris Nettles
252. Bill Gilbreth
253. John Cumberland
254. John Doherty
255. Barry Raziano

4th outfielder Morris Nettles entered the April 26 game as a defensive replacement to start the bottom of the 7th inning. Pitcher Bill Gibreth took over in relief in the 9th inning of a May 5 contest and allowed a sac fly to John Lowenstein to score George Hendrick with the tying run. John Cumberland got a strikeout of the only batter he faced in his debut game as an Angel debut late in the fame on May 29. John Doherty started at First Base on June 1, going 0 for 2 with a walk. We had traded Vada Pinson to the Royals in the offseason for pitcher Barry Raziano, whose 3 innings of relief on June 6 yielded but 1 earned run. Utility infielder Orlando Ramirez played his entire career with the Angels, from 1974-79, appearing in 143 games as he shuttled back and forth between AAA and the big club. He was 0 for 2 with flawless defense as the starting shortstop on July 6.

256. Orlando Ramirez
257. Luis Quintana
258. Bruce Bochte
259. Horacio Pina
260. Bob Heise

Pitcher Luis Quintana faced one batter on July 9 in relief in his major league debut: future Hall-of-Famer Boog Powell, who hit a sacrifice fly to plate the go-ahead run for the Orioles. Bruce Bochte, the Angels' 2nd round pick from the 1972 draft, was a pinch runner for Bob Oliver on July 19 in his major league debut under the Halo. Pitcher Horacio Pina was traded by the Cubs to the Angels on July 28 and made his Angel debut in relief on August 1 with the Angels ahead by 1 and a man on first with 1 out. He promptly struck out future Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew before surrendering a two-run home and earning the loss. A July 31 trade delivered infielder Bob Heise to the Angels. He started at 2B on August 3. Veteran pitcher Ken Sanders was released by the Indians in June and signed by the Angels in July. He pitched 2 innings of scoreless relief in his Angel debut at home on August 13. He would be traded for Ike Hampton the following Spring.

261. Ken Sanders
262. Orlando Pena
263. Chuck Dobson
264. John Balaz
265. Don Kirkwood

On September 5, the Cardinals traded pitcher Orlando Pena to the Angels for a player to be named later. Pena came on in relief of Frank Tanana who was hit by a line drive with one out in the top of the 9th, leaving a man on 1st with a 2-run lead. Pena got the save. The Mexico City Tigers sold starting pitcher Chuck Dobson to the Angels mid-season and the veteran made his Angel debut with a Complete Game shutout of the Rangers in the first game of a doubleheader at home. Backup outfielder John Balaz made his major league debut pinch hitting for Bruce Bochte at home on September 10. The Royals changed pitchers and Balaz was lifted for a pinch hitter himself. He played in 14 games that year and was later part of the trade with Boston that yielded pitcher Dick Drago. The final debut of the year, pitcher Don Kirkwood, had an awesome major league debut - he struck out Jorge Orta and then Ellie Rodriguez picked Bucky Dent off of 3B to end the inning. It was one of the lone highlights in the awful last-place 68-94 1974 campaign.

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