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March 16, 2007

Los Angeles Angels Season Lookback – 1963

by @ 7:32 pm. Filed under Angels Season Lookbacks

Record – 70-91, Finished Ninth Place in the American League
Pythagorean Record – 73-88

Starters

Hitters (BA/OBP/SLG)

C – Buck Rodgers (.233/.303/.293)
1b – Lee Thomas (.220/.301/.316)
2b – Billy Moran (.275/.310/.375)
3b – Felix Torres (.261/.307/.361)
SS – Jim Fregosi (.287/.325/.422)
LF – Leon Wagner (.291/.352/.456)
CF – Albie Pearson (.304/.402/.398)
RF - Bob Perry (.253/.300/.361)

Team Leaders

Homeruns – Leon Wagner (26)
Batting Average – Albie Pearson (.304)
OPS – Leon Wagner (.808)
Best Fielder – Lee Thomas (10 Fielding Runs Above Average)

Pitchers (IP/W/ERA)

SP – Ken McBride (251/13/3.26)
SP – Dean Chance (248/13/3.19)
SP – Don Lee (154/8/3.68)
SP – Bo Belinsky (76.7/2/5.75)
SP – Bob Turley (87.3/2/3.30)
CL – Julio Navarro (90.3/4/2.89)

Team Leaders

Wins – Ken McBride, Dean Chance (13)
ERA – Dean Chance (3.19)
Strikeouts – Dean Chance (168)
Saves – Julio Navarro (12)

While 1962 was a step in the right direction for the francshise, 1963 was pretty much two steps back. The Angels pretty much returned all of their lineup and just about all of them had a worse season in 1962. The Angels did see the emergence of Jim Fregosi as a regular at shortstop and Dean Chance once again put together a solid season.

On May 8, 1963, the Angels had a solid 15-14 record and they were a game and a half back of first place in a very tight American League race. On June 29, 1963, they were 41-38 and while they were 5 1/2 games back of a red hot Yankees team, they still had their heads above water. Then the bottom fell out from under them and the Angels lost ten straight games to start a stretch where they’d go 29-53, the worst record from that point on in the American League.

When you combine mediocre pitching with poor hitting, you get a bad combination. Leon Wagner led the team with 26 homeruns (good for ninth in the American League) but no other Angel hit more then nine homeruns. Albie Pearson contended for a batting title and he finished fourth with a .304 mark but other then that, the only above average hitter the Angels had was shortstop Jim Fregosi. Even Wagner’s numbers were a little deceiving. He finished with the 26 homeruns, but he had only eleven doubles and one triple.

The end result was the eighth best slugging percentage (.354) and the seventh best on base percentage (.307) in the American League. The team scored 597 runs, which was ninth in the AL and they were ninth in homeruns with 95. Other then Albie Pearson, the team couldn’t draw walks and the Angels were ninth in the AL with 448.

Unfortunately, while the pitching was decent, it was good enough to make up for the poor offense. Dean Chance had another nice year and he was a season away from a breakout campaign. To show for it, he went 13-18 despite sporting a team best 3.19 ERA. Ken McBride was the only starter to finish with a winning record and even that was just barely done. He finished 13-12 and he had an ERA just a touch above Chance’s.

The Angels would bounce back to a certain extent in 1964 but that’s another story (the Dean Chance story).

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