On December 5, 1977 the Angels made a blockbuster trade with the Chicago White Sox - they sent Bobby Bonds, Thad Bosley and Richard Dotson to the Pale Hose for Pitchers Dave Frost and Chris Knapp and a young Catcher named Brian Downing. All three would be part of the core of teams that gave Anaheim the taste of a winner.
325. Ron Fairly
326. Rick Miller
327. Lyman Bostock
The Angels opened the 1978 season on April 7 at home. The Friday night crowd of 28,194 watched the Angels beat the Oakland Athletics 1 - 0. Veteran Ron Fairly went 0 for 3, while at 1B, he recorded the first out of the season unassisted on a Miguel Dilone groundout. Free Agent signing Rick Miller was the Angel leadoff hitter, he went 1 for 4 but was caught stealing. Another offseason free agent headline that would wind up in unutterable tragedy was Lyman Bostock, who went 0 for 3 on Opening Day with a walk and was also caught stealing. Rookie Carney Lansford made his major league debut on April 8, pinch-hitting for Rance Mulliniks in the bottom of the 9th with nobody out and a man on in with the Angels down by 2.
Chris Knapp was the starting pitcher on April 9, striking out 7 in 7+ innings and receiving the victory in a 3-2 win. His batterymate that day was Brian Downing, who debuted in an Angel uniform as the starting catcher in the 3rd game of the season on a Sunday in Anaheim, walking twice in 3 plate appearances.
331. Don Aase
332. Merv Rettenmund
333. Tom Griffin
Hungry for pitching, the Angels had traded infielder Jerry Remy to the Red Sox for Don Aase in December of '77. Aase started a Tuesday night game against the Twins at the Big A on April 11, losing big with 5 runs allowed in less than 5 innings pitched. Free agent veteran Merv Rettenmund started as the Angels DH on April 16, going 1 for 4 before being removed for a pinch hitter late in the game. Veteran pitcher Tom Griffin cleaned up Nolan Ryan's disappointing career start #300 with an inning of shutout ball in a 6-1 loss to the Mariners in the Kingdome.
334. Dave Machemer
335. Dave Frost
336. Jim Anderson
337. Al Fitzmorris
In his major league debut Dave Machemer homered in his first major league plate appearance to lead off the game in Minnesota on Wednesday night, June 21. The Angels would win 5-3. Bobby Bonds got a measure of revenge against one of the men he was traded for on June 24 when his sac fly RBI was one of 3 runs allowed against debuting Angel Dave Frost. By this time, Chicago had shipped Bonds to Texas, though. Rookie Jim Anderson debuted on July 2 against the Rangers and doubled in a run before scoring on a Rick Miller double in the 5th inning. He was walked intentionally in the 9th with the game tied, with Texas hoping to set up the force play, but a Tony Solaita walk-off single won the game. On July 25, pitcher Al Fitzmorris made his first appearance as an Angel, surrendering a wlk in 2/3 of an inning of mop up relief. He would appear in 9 games as an Angel, his final major league team, the final man to debut for the 1978 California Angels.