Angels Great Scot Shields Retires

Florida's own Scot Shields was born four days after Torii Hunter and five days before Alex Rodriguez. He was the greatest set-up reliever in Angels franchise history. Shields announced his retirement on Friday as reported by UKHALO in a FANSHOT here on Halos Heaven. He played from 2001 - 2010 and only for the Angels, the team that drafted him.

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Scot is pictured here celebrating the 2005 division title in a bar in San Francisco, the team having clinched earlier that night in Oakland. He was wearing the team's "Rally Beads" from a stadium giveaway earlier that season. I asked him why he was wearing fan merchandise and he told me he was superstitious. I asked him if he actually wore the cheap plastic beads during games while other relievers wore gold chains and crosses. Taking a slug from his Bud Lite he told me "No, I gotta wear them to the bars. I'm superstitious about partying."

One irony about his retirement is that, in having pitched in two injury-plagued seasons, he actually tarnished his legacy for greatness - had he retired prior to the 2007 season he would have had a higher statistical place in franchise lore.

Still, his accomplishments are remarkable considering that he was drafted in the 38th round of the 1997 draft.

In our Amazon.com-available book TOP 50 ANGELS, we ranked him 37th All Time in franchise history, the only set-up man who made our prestigious, definitive list.

Among pitchers who tossed more than 500 innings as an Angel, Scot with one T established some great marks in club history:

3.18 ERA (7th in club history)

1.2 WHIP (9th in club history)

7.6 Hits per 9 IP (5th in club history)

8.14 K thru 9 (3rd in club history, just behind Nolan Ryan and Troy Percival)

Single Season (2005) Club Pitching Record of 78 Games Appeared

491 Games Played (2nd in Club History for a Pitcher, behind Troy Percival; Shields threw 111 more innings as an Angel than Percy)

2.2 K per BB (9th in Club History)

OOPS! In 697 Innings Pitched, Scot threw 49 Wild Pitches, good for 5th most as an Angel. In 6th place was Kirk McCaskill who threw 48 WP... in 1,221 IP as an Angel. But it was that movement on those pitches from that legendary rubber arm that delivered

His adjusted ERA+ of 139 is second only to Troy Percival's 157 among Angels pitchers. Had he ended his Angels career after 2006, Shields would have the club record as his mark stood at 159 after that stupendous campaign.

His 10.6% Win Probability added is 6th all time as an Angel, and it ranks 163rd in baseball history for pitchers and is the highest rank in the game's long history for a pitcher who was primarily a setup man. Sounds like Cooperstown to this biased fan, how about to you?

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