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Carney Lansford - Top 100 Angels #76

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Traded away at the start of his prime...

Carney Lansford was an Angel once...
Carney Lansford was an Angel once...
Darryl Norenberg-US PRESSWIRE

# 76 - CARNEY LANSFORD, 3B

In our Top 100 Angels list compiled after the 2005 season, Carney ranked #55 (LINK) and he was ranked #53 on our list after the 2008 season.

The biggest looming issue of Carney Lansford's tenure with the Angels is the fact that he was traded just as his prime was beginning, and the trade was a complete bust for the Angels. Sure, RBIs are a terrible stat to judge a player by but when your #2 hitter is 23 years old and has 79 RBI in one season, you don't trade him. Sure enough, the Angels traded him to the Red Sox for Rick Burleson and Butch Hobson, who amount to a bank account drain and a hill of beans respectively. Lansford wins the batting title the next season and two years later he is playing for Oakland, where he stays for a decade just to beat up on the Angels.

Enough about the trade, let's look at the short, wonderful tenure of Carney Lansford, the Halo. How did he make this list with only 1,882 Plate Appearances as an Angel? He ranks 30th all time in Offensive Wins Above replacement with 9.7 WAR. His lousy fielding dropped his total WAR to 7.1, but he got rookie of the year votes in 1978, coming in third place and he was integral to the 1979 division champions. His 188 hits that season ranks 11th for a single season by an Angels batter.

Lansford was the type of homegrown player that gets fans excited and makes them proud, especially as the Angels got the reputation for being the home of free agents good and bad. Heck, he even stole 54 bases, still in the franchise top 30. A subpar 1980 season made the team push the panic button and trade away 35.6 Offensive Wins Above Replacement over the next twelve seasons. But he is still in the Halo record books and recalling the good years he had here might ease the frustration of "Just Another Lousy Angels Trade".