Pitcher Eli Grba, he man who threw the first-ever pitch for the Angels will throw out the first home game pitch of 2011 on Friday, April 8. During this 50th anniversary season, the team will welcome a different former player to throw out the first pitch.
As emailed from Eric Kay in the Angels press office: As part of the 50th Anniversary celebration, the Angels announced six alumni ceremonial pitches for each game of the opening homestand at Angel Stadium (April 8-13). Over the course of the regular season, all 81 home games will feature a first pitch from a former Angel player. This program will give fans a chance to embrace and celebrate Angels' alumni and commemorate the club's history.
For the home opener on Friday, April 8th vs. Toronto (7:05 p.m.), Eli Grba will toss out the ceremonial pitch. The right-handed pitcher was the first Angel taken in the expansion draft prior to the inaugural 1961 campaign. The following day, April 9th, the 1958 A.L. Rookie of the Year Albie Pearson will throw out the honorary pitch before the 6:05 p.m. game against the Blue Jays. Wrapping up the Toronto series will be Bob Lee - Angels' 1965 American League All-Star, with the alumni first pitch for the 12:35 p.m. Sunday day game.
When the Cleveland Indians come to town on Monday, April 11th at 7:05 p.m., four-time Angel All-Star Mark Langston will throw out the first pitch. Jim Fregosi, who played and managed the Halos, will throw the honorary pitch prior to the Tuesday, April 12th contest with Cleveland (7:05 p.m.). To wrap up the opening homestand, Roger Repoz tosses the ceremonial pitch on Wednesday, April 13th at 4:05 p.m.
If you have our book TOP 50 ANGELS, you know that after 50 seasons, Pearson ranks 26th All Time, Langston ranks 45th all time and Fregosi made #2 All Time Angel on our list. On our post-2005 season Top 100 Angels rankings, Repoz made 88th greatest Angel, Bob Lee ranked 48th after 2008 and we whiffed after 2005 in only ranking him 81st ("we" being ME). Grba's claim to fame is being the first Angel drafted and the first to throw a pitch as well as being the scout who signed Derrick Turnbow. Well two outta three ain't bad!