Angel Debuts - 1979

For the first time in nineteen years...

338. Dan Ford
339. Rod Carew
340. Mark Clear

The first Angel team to win their division began the season on April 4 in Seattle, where the first inning saw back-to-back groundouts by Dan Ford and then Rod Carew, each acquired in a hectic offseason. Rookie Mark Clear made his major league debut in relief of Frank Tanana in the 6th inning of a close game, yielding no runs in 2 and a third innings of a 5-4 Mariner victory.

341. Jim Barr
342. Tom Donohue
343. Willie Davis

A 14-6 blowout on April 6 saw Nolan Ryan surrender 7 earned runs in 1 and a third innings, by the top of the 9th, new Angel reliever Jim Barr replaced Dyar Miller and Catcher Brian Downing was rested in favor of the major league debut of backstop Tom Donohue. Former Dodger favorite Willie Davis was hanging on in the major leagues when, a week before his 39th birthday on April 10, he debuted as an Angel, pinch-hitting for Rance Mulliniks in the 8th inning of a blowout loss to the Twins. He flew out to center to end the inning.

344. Bert Campaneris
345. Dickie Thon
346. Larry Harlow
347. Steve Eddy
348. Ralph Botting
349. Bobby Clark
350. John Montague

I recall bringing in an article about the Bert Campaneris trade as my contribution to a current events project and being roundly chastised for considering "sports" as "news." The teacher may have been on to something, as the Dave Chalk for Campy trade yielded an 0-3 performance in Bert's May 5 debut. On May 22, Dickie Thon made his major league debut as a defensive replacement for Bobby Grich. Outfielder Larry Harlow was acquired in a trade on June 5 and was the starting Centerfielder for the Angels on June 6, going 0 for 4. Steve Eddy made his major league debut as the starting pitcher in a doubleheader in Toronto on June 13. He surrendered 5 runs in the first inning (beginning with a walk to Alfredo Griffin and a single to Danny Ainge) and 8 ER over 6. Ralph Botting made his major league debut on June 28 in Texas in relief - with only one out recorded in the first inning. He recorded 2 outs and could not get an out in the 2nd inning, giving up 7 runs (6 Earned) in 2/3 of an inning. Bobby Clark made his major league debut as a defensive replacement for Rick Miller in Centerfield on August 21. A rare trade with the Mariners brought pitcher John Montague to the Angels for a Player to be Named Later on August 29. On August 30, he pitched in relief of Nolan Ryan, surrendering 2 runs in 2 and 2/3 innings of a game the Express had long since lost.

351. Bob Ferris
352. Dave Schuler
353. Ralph Garr
354. John Harris
355. Brian Harper

September Callups
In a game long lost, reliever Bob Ferris made his major league debut against the White Sox on September 12. On September 14, reliever Dave Schuler made his major league debut in a  blowout loss to the Royals, tossing 1 and 2/3 innings to finish out the game. Ralph Garr was sold to the Angels by the White Sox on September 20 and went 1 for 6 as the starting DH in Kansas City that night. Garr, the 353rd Angel, was the final Angel debut before the team clinched its first division title five nights later on September 25. The 354th Angel, John Harris, made his major league debut the following night, pinch running for Rod Carew in the 4th inning and staying at First Base. On September 29, Brian Harper made his major league debut and promptly became the youngest player in the major leagues at age 19, 8 days younger than Oakland pitcher Mike Morgan. Pinch hitting for Willie Davis, Harper was 0 for 2 and the Angels were off to the postseason a few days later.

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