The Angels welcomed two of their best and most popular pitchers in franchise history — Jim Abbott and Mark Langston — to camp on Monday, to interact with the younger athletes and enrich them with the club’s rich tradition.
“These guys were terrific pitchers,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “Even more, they’re terrific people. We’re excited to have them interact with our pitchers, especially the young pitchers. Sometimes a pitcher thinks he’s on an island; that’s not the case. It’s great to have those guys here.”
Scioscia said another great Angels lefty, Chuck Finley, will make an appearance along with Tim Salmon and Bobby Grich. Don Baylor, who spent time with the team last spring, is busy in his new role as a coach for the Rockies.
Scioscia, who spent his Dodgers youth getting to know legends such as Roy Campanella, John Roseboro and Sandy Koufax at Dodgertown, has been trying to connect his players with those who preceded them in the Angels’ colorful tradition.
Joe Saunders, who emerged as an All-Star last season after battling Ervin Santana for a spot in the rotation in the spring, is the latest in a long line of superb — and occasionally eccentric — Angels southpaw starters. It all began with the inimitable Bo Belinski of no-hit and extracurricular fame, followed by the superb Clyde Wright and remarkably gifted Frank Tanana.
Few teams in history have had a better trio of lefties in the same rotation than Abbott, Finley and Langston from 1990-92. They were a combined 55-28 in ’91 — Langston winning 19, Finley and Abbott 18 apiece — for a club that finished 81-81.