History of the Los Angeles Angels

The Los Angeles Angels were established as an American League franchise team in 1961. The original owner of the team was former cowboy actor/singer Gene Autry. Although the Angels’ first season was a losing one, with a record of 70-91, it was a good start for a franchise team. The following year, they ended in third place in the American League, far behind the American League leader, the New York Yankees.

In 1966, the Los Angeles Angels moved to Anaheim and their name changed to the California Angels, a name that stuck until 1997. The move and name change, however, did not help the Angels move up in the league. During the 1970s, despite the acquisition of pitcher Nolan Ryan, the Angels could not advance to the playoffs.

In 1979, the Angels finally had a team that was good enough to win a division title. Under the leadership of manager Jim Fregosi and with players like Don Baylor, Bert Campaneris and Rod Carew, the Angels won the American League West division title but they lost the American League pennant series to the Baltimore Orioles. Three seasons later, the Angels had a new manager, Gene Mauch, and another future Hall of Famer, Reggie Jackson, on the team and in 1982, the California Angels won their second American League West division title.

The Angels’ next season of playoff games came in 1986 when they again won the American League West division title. That, however, would be their last win until 2002. From 1987 until 2001, the Angels suffered many setbacks. The team was eventually sold to the Disney Company and, in 1997, they became the Anaheim Angels.

The Anaheim Angels made a comeback in 2002, winning the American League Wild Card. They then went on to defeat the New York Yankees in the American League division series and the Minnesota Twins in the American League pennant race. They then played against the San Francisco Giants and won their first and only World Series.

A year later, the ownership of the team changed hands and in 2005, the new owners changed the team's name one more time to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. In 2000, the Angels hired Mike Scioscia to manage the team and by 2004, he turned them into the dominant AL West team. Under Scioscia's leadership, and with strong players like Torii Hunter, the Angels won the AL West division title in 2004, 2005, and 2007-2009. Although they have acquired top players Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton and they have great young players like Mike Trout, the Angels have not been able to win a division title in the last few years.

Source for Information
Wikipedia - Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim