Retired Numbers: Los Angeles Angels

(This is part of a series on retired numbers, with somewhat of a focus on Retired Number Bandits — players who wore a number that was later retired at any point after the person for whom it was retired first wore it. See the introduction for more information and explanation on Bandits.)

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have five official and two unofficial retired numbers:

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Jim Fregosi, 11

Fregosi was an original Los Angeles Angel, taken by the Angels from the Red Sox as a 19-year-old in the expansion draft. He spent 11 seasons with the team and received MVP votes in eight of the nine seasons in which he was the team’s starting shortstop. The Orange County native, who went to high school five miles from Angels Stadium, later returned and began his big league managerial career with four years at the helm of the Angels from 1978-1981.

Fregosi’s number 11 was retired in 1998; it was worn by John Stephenson, Bobby Valentine, and Mario Guerrero between his days as a player and a manager, and by Joe Ferguson, Doug DeCinces, Dante Bichette, Jim Eppard, Gary Disarcina, Reggie Williams, Greg Myers, Don Slaught, Robert Eenhoorn, and Justin Baughman after his managerial stint.

Gene Autry, 26

Autry never played for the Angels or any other team. The singer and actor owned the team, in full or in part, from its inception until his death in 1998. Number 26 was retired in his honor in 1982 as a symbol of the “26th man” on the 25-man roster.

Rod Carew, 29

Carew played most of his career with the Minnesota Twins, but he had 968 hits with the Angels and recorded his 3,000th career hit with the team in 1985. In seven seasons in Anaheim, Carew hit .314/.393/.392 with more walks than strikeouts.

Carew retired after the 1985 season, and in 1986 he became the first player to have his number retired by the Angels, a year before the Twins did the same. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1991.

Video of Carew’s 3,000th hit, against his former team:

Nolan Ryan, 30

The Angels are one of three teams (along with the Astros and the Rangers) to retire Ryan’s number. He threw the first four of his seven career no-hitters for the Angels after coming over from the Mets in a trade for Fregosi.

The Angels did not retire his number 30 until 1992, after it had been worn by Tom Brunansky, Gary Pettis, Dave Goltz, Dick Schofield, Derrel Thomas, Devon White, Ruben Amaro, and Chad Curtis.

Jimmie Reese, 50

Reese also never played for the major-league Angels, having ended his three-year career nearly 25 years before the big leagues moved to the west coast.

Reese was roommates with Babe Ruth for the 1930-1931 Yankees, although he described it as having “roomed with Ruth’s suitcase.” He later played for both the Los Angeles Angels and the San Diego Padres of the Pacific Coast League, retiring as a player after the 1938 season.

Reese became a coach for the Angels in 1972 and was listed as a coach for the team until his death in 1994. The Angels retired his number 50 a year later.

Unofficial: Tim Salmon, 15

Salmon played his entire 14-year career with the Angels, winning the 1993 Rookie of the Year Award and getting MVP votes in three seasons. He is one of a few player who played for the team under all three names (California Angels, Anaheim Angels, and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim). He also has the distinction of having the most home runs of any player who never made an All-Star team.

Salmon’s number 15 has not been issued since his retirement in 2006. He received five votes in the 2012 Hall of Fame election, his only year on the ballot.

Unofficial: Nick Adenhart, 34

Adenhart pitched three games for the Angels in 2008, and he started the 2009 season in the starting rotation as a 22-year-old. In his first start of the season, he pitched six shutout innings in a game the Angels ultimately lost when the bullpen allowed six runs in the final three innings.

That night, the car in which Adenhart was a passenger was broadsided by a minivan with a drunk driver. The driver and another passenger were declared dead at the scene of the accident, and Adenhart died at the hospital.

Adenhart’s number 34 has not been issued by the Angels since his death.

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