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The 100 Greatest Angels: #32 Bryan Harvey

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#32 - Bryan Harvey, - RH Closer

Career Stats

The end of many an Angel game was described by broadcaster Al Conin in the same four words "FORKBALL GOT HIM SWINGING!" It was a simple exclamation to affirm that Angels closer Bryan Harvey had done his job yet again.

Bryan Harvey is 2nd all-time in Saves as an Angel with 126. He holds the single season team record for Saves with 46 in 1991 (Francisco Rodriguez had 45 Saves in 2005, and it is interesting to note that his set-up man, Scot Shields had 78 appearances, and in Harvey's 46-Save season his set-up man, Mark Eichorn, had 70 appearances). In that season he struck out 101 of the 309 batters he faced.

Bryan Harvey was the Angels' Lights-Out closer in an era of a disillusioned Halo Nation - but he was never anything less than inspiring. There was the 1986 collapse, a string of lousy seasons, Donnie Moore had committed suicide, the Dodgers had won the 1988 World Series and a listless franchise seemed to be shrinking into the middle-market visions of Jackie Autry, supplanting the free-agent glitz of her husband. It is a shame that he could not have been part of a division winner - the best team he played for, the 1989 Angels, would have qualified for the Wild Card had it existed back then. Some things are just not meant to be, but it hardly tarnishes Bryan's Halo. He carried the torch through a rough patch.

Harvey was left exposed in the 1993 expansion draft, the assumption being that his monster contract would be avoided by the foraging Rockies and Marlins, but it wasn't - Florida nabbed him with their 12h pick. But here, even, Harvey was great to the Halos - his slot of proteced players went to emerging minor leaguer Troy Percival - ensuring Percy would not be whisked off to expansionville.

Bryan Harvey was ranked as high as #22 All Time on three of the 8 final ballots - those of cupie, blogger Shredder and Baseball Analyst Rich Lederer.