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The 100 Greatest Angels - #61, Andy Messersmith

#61 - Andy Messersmith, RH SP

Career Stats

Before he made history at age 30 by smashing baseball's reserve clause and creating Free Agency, Andy Messersmith was one hell of a pitcher, certainly one of the Angels' all-time greats.

Of Angel pitchers compiling more than 75 decisions and 500 innings pitched, he has the lowest ERA - 2.78 in 972 innings - of them all.

He is also tied for 10th (with Ramon Ortiz) place in franchise Wins (59), ranks 3rd in Winning Percentage (.557), is 2nd only to Troy Percival in WHIP at 1.140, is 3rd in H/9IP with 6.53 per full frame, and is 4th with 7.11 K/9 IP.

Messersmith is the only Angel pitcher in the Top Ten franchise strikeouts with less than 1,000 IP, and pitched 42 complete games, tied with Geoff Zahn for 7th all time, and his adjusted ERA+ is 119 as an Angel, 3rd all time, behind only Percy and Dean Chance.

Messersmith was part of a blockbuster early 1970s trade and pitched well for the Dodgers before becoming baseball's first true Free Agent. Here is a Where is he now story on what became of the legend.