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Angel Debuts - 1970

The Angels traded 3 players to the Reds for Alex Johnson and Chico Ruiz in the offseason. It was, in fact, the final trade made by the club in the 1960s. Alex Johnson started on opening day 1970 in Left Field. He led off the 2nd inning with a triple and scored the first of 12 runs scored by the Angels that afternoon in their shutout rout of the Brewers - the first American League game ever played at County Stadium, longtime home of the Braves. Johnson's .329 batting average in 1970 would be the league leader that season, still the only Angel to win a season batting championship.

181. Alex Johnson
182. Mel Queen

On April 10, 28-year old reliever Mel Queen threw two and a third innings to get a save in Kansas City in his Angel debut. Not to be outdone, Paul Doyle pitched 2 in relief for a Save against KC the very next night! On April 15, Chico Ruiz entered the game as a pinch runner for Jim Fregosi in the 6th inning and stayed in the game defensively at Shortstop. The Twins had scored 8 in the top half of the inning, so resting Fregosi was begat out of mercy, not necessity.

183. Paul Doyle
184. Chico Ruiz
185. Greg Garrett
186. Ken McMullen
187. Ray Oyler
188. Tom Silverio

Lefty Greg Garrett made his major league debut on April 24 in Washington DC, pitching 1/3 of an inning - striking out the first man he ever faced in the bigs (Senators outfielder Lee Maye). On April 27, the Angels traded long serving outfielder Rick Reichardt to the Senators for infielder Ken McMullen. Batting 5th the next day he went 2 for 4 with 3 RBI and a 2-run homer. The homerun came in the top of the 9th in Yankee Stadium with the Angels down 7-2. Later in the same inning, with the score at 7-5 and a man on 3rd with 2 outs, Ray Oyler made his Angel debut representing the tying run. He grounded into a game-ending force out. Another pinch-hitting debut came with Tom Silverio on April 30, only this time it was also his major league debut. He, too, grounded out.

189. Dave LaRoche

In his first of two tours of duty as an Angel, Lefty Dave LaRoche would make his major league debut on May 11 in the top of the 15th inning at home against the Boston Red Sox. With 2 on and 2 out, La Roche took the mound against future Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski. He induced a lineout to end the inning and was the pitcher of record in line for the win when the Angels scored in the bottom of the inning. Yaz would lose the batting title to Alex Johnson by less than .0005, and had LaRoche's entree gone to the veteran, so too, later that Autumn, would have the A.L. batting title.

After allowing 7 unanswered runs in 4 innings on May 16, the Angels brought in reliever Harvey Shank for his major league debut. He gave them 3 innings of shutout ball against the A's in Oakland. It was his one and only appearance in the major leagues. The A's sold veteran outfielder Tommie Reynolds to the Angels after the game and he made his debut as a Halo on May 20, batting 7th and starting in Right Field.

190. Harvey Shank
191. Tommie Reynolds
192. Mickey Rivers

The most egregious oversight in the Top 100 Angels is easily "Mick the Quick" outfielder Mickey Rivers. He debuted in the bigs wearing a Halo on August 4. John Milton Rivers was 21 years old and would provide speed to the team like few had ever seen on the West Coast for parts of 6 seasons. He would be traded to the Yankees after the 1975 season for Bobby Bonds.

193. Tony Gonzalez
194. Terry Cox
195. Doug Griffin

Veteran outfielder Tony Gonzalez was sold to the Angels on August 31 and grounded out as a pinch hitter late in a defeat at the hands of the Kansas City Royals. Pitcher Terry Cox made his major league debut on September 7, getting a popout in his 1/3 of an inning pitched. He would see action in two more games that season and never see the bigs again. Doug Griffin made his debut as the starting Second Baseman for the Angels on September 11, going 0 for 3 with a walk and playing fine defense. He would be the centerpiece of the October, 1970 trade that was to bring Tony Conigliaro to the Angels.