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The 100 Greatest Angels: #17 Mike Witt

#17 Mike Witt, RH SP

Career Stats

There was a time, it might have been before the 1988 season when, in recalling Spahn and Sain and two days rain as the old description of the Boston Braves' 1940s pitching staff, one sportswriter described the Angels' staff thusly: Witt, and that's it!

Mike Witt was once the heir apparent to Nolan Ryan, with a fastball to almost match and a curveball to die for. Witt is the only Angel pitcher to pitch a perfect game and the only in baseball history to accomplish that feat and be a part of a combined no-hitter (which he was, in relief of Mark Langston in April of 1990, just weeks prior to being traded to the Yankees for Dave Winfield).

As the ace of the 1986 Angels pitching staff, Witt went 18-10 with a 2.84 ERA, 208 strikeouts and an ERA+ of 144 (6th best Angel single season). He won a CG postseason ALCS Game and was one out from another complete game victory in Game 5 when Gene Mauch removed him - look, we have been thru this enough times in the Countdown.

Other than 1986, Witt was a below .500 pitcher overall, although the offense had abandoned the team after 1986, probably costing him 15 career wins.

Witt's 109 wins is 3rd most in team history, as are his 314 Games, and 1965+ Innings Pitched, his 1283 strikeouts, his 272 Games Started, his 70 Complete Games and his 8,312 Batters Faced. 8 full seasons and parts of two others (81 and 90) assisted his amassing of these numbers, but his heat and his curve made sending him to the mound a much better proposition than the coinflip it appears. It is inconceivable after 45 seasons of Angels baseball to consider an all-time Angel rotation that does not include Michael Atwater Witt.