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Angel Debuts - 1973

There was a big trade in the offseason - 5 Dodgers for 2 Angels:
November 28, 1972: Traded by the Los Angeles Dodgers: Bill Singer, Billy Grabarkewitz, Frank Robinson, Mike Strahler, and Bobby Valentine to the California Angels for Andy Messersmith and Ken McMullen.

Three of those players would debut on opening day at the Big A.

226. Billy Grabarkewitz
227. Bobby Valentine
228. Frank Robinson
229. Tommy McCraw

Opening Day was a Friday night game against division rival Kansas City. Nolan Ryan pitched a 6-hit, 2-run complete game, striking out 12 and recording the W in a 3-2 Halo triumph. In the bottom of the first, new Angels Third Baseman Billy Grabarkewitz and Bobby Valentine each grounded out to First Base as the team's first two hitters. Leading off the bottom of the 2nd inning, in his first plate appearance as an Angel, Frank Robinson hit a homerun. He was followed in the lineup by Tommy McCraw, who had just been traded to the Angels from the Indians in exchange for Leo Cardenas. McCraw was the first Designated Hitter in Angels history. In his first at-bat, following Robinson, Tommy set the tone for many an Angels DH and struck out looking.

230. Terry Wilshusen
231. Ron Perranoski

In the 2nd game of the season, the single worst pitching career, ERA-wise, in Angels history occurred. 24 year old Terry Wilshusen was the 3rd reliever in the game. The Angels were down by 3 and it was the top of the 8th. In his major league debut and the only game in which he would ever appear in the bigs, Wilshusen loaded the bases while only getting one out. He was relieved by Ron Perranoski, who had been signed by the Angels on opening day following his release by the Dodgers. Perranoski allowed all three of Wilshusen's baserunners to score and tacked on one more for himself. Terry Wilshusen had a career ERA of 81.00. Perranoski would appear in 8 games with the Angels the final team on which he was a player n the big leagues.

232. Bill Singer
233. Jerry DaVanon
234. Al Gallagher

4 out of the first 6 Angels to debut in 1973 had been members of the 1972 Dodgers. The 4th was Pitcher Bill Singer, who took the mound on Tuesday, April 10 at home against the Twins in front of 6,319 fans. He struck out 10 and got a complete game victory. Utility infielder Jerry DaVanon debuted on April 13 late in the game playing 3B. The Angels traded for third Baseman Al Gallagher on April 14 and he made his debut with the club on April 17, going 2 for 4 with 2 runs scored.

The Angels made a big trade on May 20. They sent Jim Spencer and Lloyd Allen to the Rangers for three players, each of whom would debut within the following two months.

235. Mike Epstein
236. Bobby Brooks
237. Rich Hand
238. Richie Scheinblum
239. Rick Stelmaszek

The first debut from the Texas trade was First Baseman Mike Epstein, who went 0 for 4 with 3 strikeouts and an error on May 22 in Comiskey Park. The next night, May 23, offseason acquisition Bobby Brooks pinch-hit in the 9th inning, reaching 2nd on a two base error by White Sox Right Fielder Pat Kelly. On May 26, pitcher Rich Hand made the Rangers look like geniuses at County Stadium in Milwaukee, giving up 3 earned runs in 2 innings for his Angel debut. The Angels traded Terry "Mister 81.00 ERA" Wilshusen to the Cincinnati Reds on June 15 for Richie Scheinblum. The veteran outfielder made the Angels look like geniuses as he homered in his 2nd at-bat as an Angel on June 16. A month later, on July 17, the final player acquired in the Texas trade made his debut - catcher Rick Stelmaszek was hitless in his Angel debut, but caught a complete game from Clyde Wright.

240. Aurelio Monteagudo
241. Dave Chalk
242. Charlie Sands

Mop-up man Aurelio Monteagudo made his Angel debut on July 22. He pitched two scoreless innings of a blowout loss. In 15 appearances as an Angel, he finished 10 games. The team's first round pick of 1972, Dave Chalk, debuted at Shortstop on September 4. It was his first of 732 games in an Angels uniform. The same game saw the debut of Charlie Sands as a pinch hitter. The 5th Dodger acquired in the Messersmith trade, Mike Strahler, never played for the Angels. He was traded April 19 to the Tigers for Sands. With men on 2nd and 3rd, two outs in the ninth and the Angels trailing by one run, Sands grounded out to end the game.

243. Frank Tanana

While he would go on to be the thing of Angels legends, Frank Tanana's debut as an Angel on Septemebr 9 ended after 4 innings and 4 earned runs. He was, fortunately, not included in any trades any time soon.