Opening Day, April 1, 2013 is 14 days away. There have been one hundred walk off home runs in Angels history. This is the story of #14, the third walk off home run of the HOMESTAND ! ! !
Jun 23, 1968 - Angels Right Fielder Vic Davalillo doubled in a run in the third inning and tripled in a run in the sixth off of Orioles starter Tom Phoebus, who only allowed four hits in eight innings pitched. Starter Tom Murphy allowed two runs on six hits in six innings pitched and three scoreless innings came courtesy of Jack Hamilton in the seventh and eight and Clyde Wright in the ninth.
In the bottom of the ninth, Hank Bauer chose to leave Phoebus on the mound. The first batter he faced was Angels SS Jim Fregosi, 0 for 3 in the game up to that point. Fregosi had hit a walk off home run six days earlier against the Yankees. Tow days before that the Angels had had a walk off home run victory as well. Boom. Jim Fregosi hit a tie-breaking. walk off home run to lead off the bottom of the ninth inning. Final Score: Angels 3, Orioles 2
This Angels hit three walk off home runs in 1968. The trio came in an eight day stretch on the same home stand against three different teams. The win got them to within two games of .500 but it was about as good as they would get. At 33-35, the Angels had another 34 wins in them, but thy had sixty more losses ahead of them. They finished the season 67-95, 36 games behind the Detroit Tigers.
This was Jim Fregosi's fourth walk off home run as an Angel. At the time it was the team record. It was also the final walk off home run under manager Bill Rigney. The only skipper the team had ever known would be dismissed after this disappointing season, his ninth.