#58 Brendan Donnelly, RH Reliever
On his story to the big leagues alone, Brendan Donnelly is in the top ten of Angels about whom they would likely make a movie. He made his debut at age 30 years, 9 months and 5 days - a senior citizen first, a rookie second. He had crossed a picket line on bad advice from an agent in 1995 and was not allowed in the Players' Union. He wore a gold chain that he bought with his first professional baseball check in June of 1992. That chain was almost ten years in his possession when he walked onto a major league mound for the first time on April 9, 2002. What was a warm story in the hearts of Angel fans soon became a dominant force in the league, solidifying the early `00s Angels' bullpen as the best in baseball.
Brendan Donnelly has pitched for the Angels for four seasons, 2003 being his most stellar where he was the winning pitcher in the All Star Game on the way to compiling a miniscule 1.58 ERA. In addition to playing a role in the 2004 and 2005 A.L. West Division winners, Donnelly's amazing 7+ innings of scoreless relief were a critical component of the Angels' 2002 World Series Championship. He gave up only a single hit and struck out 6 Giants - pretty good for a guy who wasn't on the opening day roster. Donnelly was the Winning Pitcher in Game 6, the greatest comeback in an elimination game in World Series history.
Whether it is his 2004 nose job after being hit in the face with a batting practice flyball in Spring Training or an ejection for the dollop of pine tar on his glove in 2005, Donnelly has been a colorful character in Angel Lore. In Angel Stadium, his entry from the bullpen is accompanied by AC/DC's Thunderstruck, and it is one song Angel fans are always happy to hear.