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No. 75: Greatest Angels of All-Time: Bobby Bonds

Two years in Anaheim

California Angels v Baltimore Orioles

Bobby Bonds

Time with Angels: 1976-1977

Stats: .264/.340/.468/.808, 47 HR, 169 RBI, 256 H, 101 R, 257 G, 454 TB, 130 OPS+

Baseball Reference WAR: 7.2

FanGraphs WAR: 6.8

Combined WAR: 7

Bobby Bonds had a quick two-year stop in Anaheim over the course of his 14-year career. After spending nearly his entire career in San Francisco up to that point, Bonds was happy to be back in California, and had hopes of playing with the Angels for the remainder of his career.

Injuries cost Bonds nearly half of his first season with the Angels. He missed the first nine games of the season after he chipped a bone in his right hand diving into home plate during a spring training game. Once he was back in the lineup, Bonds was swinging the bat better than anyone on the team. Through his first month of the season he was hitting .354 with an OPS of nearly 1.000. He also added six homers and 11 stolen bases.

However, he began to struggle at the plate, as his average fell about 90 points and his OPS was just above .750. It looked as if it was a result of his hand injury from earlier in the season. Bonds decided to undergo surgery, and his season was over in August.

Bonds had a much better campaign in 1977. First off, he was healthy, as he appeared in 158 games. He hit a career-high 37 home runs and drove in a career-best 115 runs. He also stole 41 bases, scored 103 runs and had 156 hits. He finished 16th in MVP voting, the final season in which he’d receive MVP votes.

On December 5, 1977, The Angels traded Bonds with Thad Bosely and Rich Dotson to the Chicago White Sox for Brian Downing, Dave Frost, and Chris Knapp.

Bonds was shocked and hurt. He said, “I gave the Angels what they wanted. I thought it would be great to finish my career in Anaheim. I was going to look for a house in the Anaheim area next month and move back to Southern California.”

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