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Angel Debuts - 1969

An offseason trade for pitcher Sammy Ellis landed the Angels Bill Voss who was the leadoff batter at home on April 8, 1969. Trouble with leading off at home was that the expansion Seattle Pilots batted first - literally the first at-bats of the franchise - and scored 4 runs before Voss even had the chance to fly out to center. Neither Voss nor debuting First Baseman Dick Stuart were involved in a single defensive play in the 4-Run 1st, so Voss lead off the bottom of the inning with a fly out and Stuart finished the frame with a strikeout, stranding two. Former Fireman of the year (1965) Eddie Fisher pitched 4 innings of shutout ball but the new franchise held on to defeat the Angels 4-3.

160. Bill Voss
161. Dick Stuart
162. Eddie Fisher
163. Bob Chance
164. Pedro Borbon
165. Hoyt Wilhelm
166. Ruben Amaro

In the 2nd game of the season, the evening of April 9 at Anaheim Stadium, Bob Chance pinch hit for Andy Messersmith in the bottom of the 4th and drove in Aurelio Rodriguez. It was Chance's only hit and Ribby as an Angel - he would appear in 7 games as an Angel before being traded to Atlanta in May. Pedro Borbon made his major league debut in Messersmith's spot, pitched 3 innings of scoreless relief and saw the Angels roar back from a 3-0 deficit to win 7-3. Veteran reliever Hoyt Wilhelm, acquired in the offseason from the expansion Kansas City Royals, pitched two innings for the save and Ruben Amaro came in as a late inning defensive replacement for Angels First Baseman Roger Repoz. Mop up reliever Phil Ortega appeared in the first of his 5 games as an Angel on April 16, surrendering a run in an inning of a 6-1 loss at Oakland.

167. Phil Ortega
168. Sandy Alomar
169. Bob Priddy

On May 14 the Angels pulled the trigger on an emotionally-jarring trade for long time fans of the franchise. They traded veteran 2nd Baseman Bobby Knoop to the Chicago White Sox for infielder Sandy Alomar and reliever Bob Priddy. Alomar led off the May 16 road game at Yankee Stadium and Priddy appeared the following night, May 17, surrendering a run in an inning of relief.

Rookie Ken Tatum made his major league debut with an inning of scoreless relief on May 28. A bright spot of 1969, he would record 22 saves with a 1.36 ERA. After 126 games as an Angel in parts of '68 and '69, Vic Davalillo was traded on May 30 for outfielder Jim Hicks, who would go on to bat .083 the rest of the season and never play in the big leagues again, while Vic D would play into the 1980 season, appearing in FOUR World Series with three different teams. Hicks went 0 for 1 with a walk on June 1. Rookie Greg Washburn (no relation to Jarrod) pitched an inning of relief on June 7 in the first of 8 major league games he would appear. Veteran Catcher Joe Azcue arrived on the Angels in a trade for longtime Halo Tom Satriano. With the departure of Knoop and Satriano, the 1960s were fading fast in Anaheim. Azcue had a sac fly and a hit in his June 16 debut for the Angels, his third team of the season.

170. Ken Tatum
171. Jim Hicks
172. Greg Washburn
173. Joe Azcue
174. Billy Cowan
175. Vern Geishert

The Yankees sold the contract of utilityman Billy Cowan to the Angels 5 days after Man landed on the Moon. Cowan lined out to the shortstop as a pinch hitter in the bottom of the 9th on August 1st. In 1971, Cowan would have the awesomest Angels baseball card ever published. Pitcher Vern Geishert fared better on August 26, as he was in the right place at the right time in his major league debut of 4 innings of relief, as picked up the win in Cleveland when the Angels came from behind to win 8-4.

176. Lloyd Allen
177. Tom Bradley
178. Marty Perez
179. Randy Brown
180. Wally Wolf

September Callups
On September 1, the 12th pick in the first round of the 1968 draft 19 year old Righty Lloyd Allen made his major league debut pitching a scoreless inning in the first of what would be 113 games as an Angel until traded to Texas in the 1973 season. Two September callups made their debuts on September 9. Pitcher Tom Bradley gave up 4 hits and 2 runs in 2/3 in and got the loss. He would appear in a total of 3 games while Marty Perez took Jim Fregosi off his feet as a defensive replacement at Short Stop in the 9th inning of a losing home game. On September 11, backup catching prospect Randy Brown made his first appearance as a Major Leaguer, grounding out as a pinch hitter for Buck Rodgers. 27-year old rookie Wally Wolf got his first appearance in the bigs on September 27, surrendering a base hit to Joe Rudi before getting an out.

Wolf would appear in 5 other games in his career. It was one small step for a man, one small step for the franchise.