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Wally Joyner Rookie Write In - Angels All-Star Moments!

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#1 Left off the ballot by MLB, the Fans vote Rookie Wally Joyner into the All-Star Game as a starter

It is a pretty simple story. The Angels were so confident in Wallace Keith Joyner taking over at 1B that they had not re-signed fan favorite Rod Carew nor gone with any apparent alternative positional plan headed into the 1986 season. In a testament to what a hot start can do, Wally Joyner immediately seized the imagination of Angels fans and became the instant hero of Orange County's boys.

But he was not on the All-Star ballot.

On May 1 he was batting .333 with 6 HRs. On June 1 he was batting .308 with 17 HRs.

For all of the bad press that fan voting for the All-Star game gets, it got it right one time where Major League Baseball had gotten it wrong. Fans from across the nation wrote in Wally Joyner's name. He was voted in as the starting 1B for the American League All-Star team AS A WRITE-IN CANDIDATE.

In the game, he was lifted after one AB for Don Mattingly who would go 0 for 3 with two strikeouts in a close game the AL win 3-2.

It wasn't his performance in the game, despite not really being given a chance by AL (and then-division rival Royals) manager Dick Howser, who would go and die of a brain tumor a few months later. No, here was a rookie who was giving Angels fans hope, something to believe in, and our joy was validated by fans all across the country. Fans not simply punching a ballot but taking the time to write the name - a name none of them knew in March.

In 1986, if you had missed the Angels game, there was no Halos Heaven. There was no ESPN, or if there was nobody watched it. If you wanted to know if the Angels won the game, you had to drive down the freeway and see if the Halo was lit. There was only that and the Sports page the next day and to see the BASEBALL NATION make the right choice then is a testament to how the skewed coverage of teams in the media today really does damage the way the game is perceived.

But there will always be that time that baseball fans took a moment to ensure that an Angels player got the honor he so richly deserved. And it stands as the greatest moment in Angels All-Star lore.