#9 - GARRET ANDERSON, OF
If this were a list of the 100 Coolest Angels, G.A. - Garret Anderson - would be the runaway number one winner. As it is, he is a Top Ten Angel with an enviable resume.
Drafted in the fourth round in 1990 out of Kennedy high school in Granada Hills, He got a cup of coffee in the summer of 1994 before being handed the keys to the kingdom and playing 100 games in Left Field the following season. He had 120 hits in 400 PA and that was all it took to etch his name into the lineup for the next decade plus. His second place finish for AL rookie of the year in 1995 behind Marty Cordova was robbery - both men had 19 first place votes and finished 99 to 105 points. Andy Pettite finished third and Troy Percival fourth.
His easy demeanor was no indicator of the passion with which he played the game. He never appeared to hustle enough for some fans and yet he rarely made a miscue in the field or a baserunning blunder. But he did turn in many league average seasons. Of his fifteen total seasons as an Angel, seven featured an OPS+ of 100 or below. 100 is the baseline of the league average. His best two years were 2002 and 2003 with an OPS+ of 127 and 131 respectively. His other two great years were that 1995 campaign where he delivered an OPS+ of 120 and 3.0 Wins Above Replacement and his Age-35 season of 2007, where he contributed greatly to getting the Angels back to the playoffs after having missed them the previous year. That year his 114 OPS+ only amounted to 1.8 WAR but G.A. turned on the afterburners that year and had his legendary 10-RBI game on August 21 at home against the Yankees.
Besides these four stellar seasons, though, Anderson consistently gave league average numbers (1999-2001 OPS+: 104, 103, 104 respectively with an OPS+ of 107 in 2004) and so most of his contributions to the Angels record books are counting stats. Sure, he has the most games played as an Angel, the most runs, the most hits. And that is because nobody else comes close. HE is the only to have 1,000 runs scored, and play in more than 2,000 games. He had more than 6,000 At Bats and over 8,000 Plate Appearances with the club. And yet many Halo batters did more in the fewer times up allotted them. Tim Salmon has 27 more home runs in 1,400 fewer Plate Appearances. The list could go on but there is little to take away from G.A. - he is, simply, one of the greatest Angels to ever put on the uniform and staying healthy to play that many games and remaining amenable to the team to continually sign to play for them do count in making a Top 100 list.
And then there is Game Seven of the World Series. Sure, Spiezio had the miracle home run in Game Six and Glaus had put the team ahead for good. But Game Seven was tied in the third inning when Anderson hit a bases-loaded double to put the team ahead for good. It was a huge hit overshadowed by the historic comeback the night before but that doesn't make it any less bright a moment in Angels lore. The only world championship the team has won so far was a team effort and G.A. was a solid link in that chain and a solid presence in the lineup for a decade and a half.