The 1986 version of the Angels get a lot of playback because of an epic collapse in the playoffs (probably because they played the Red Sox), but this team has to be just as disappointing to Angel fans. They led the ALCS against the Brewers 2 games to none, but lost the series 3 games to 2. This was back when the League Championship Series was a best of 5 games. There are 8 Angels in the Topps Traded set, so the Angels made many changes to put this team together. First year Angels include Reggie Jackson, Bob Boone, and Doug DeCinces.
Reggie Jackson didn't have the best batting average, but led the team in Home Runs and RBIs and was 2nd in OBP to Rod Carew. He gets my nod for MVP. Doug DeCinces, Rod Carew, and Brian Downing should also get some consideration.
Pitching wasn't really the strength of this team. Geoff Zahn won 18 games, but had a relatively high ERA for the time. He was the ace of the staff, so I will give him the nod.
Rookie Card of the Year
I am going to think about this some more...the point of this blog is the baseball cards, and if I just looked at 1st year players, I would have yet another team with no card for the player. This may be a more interesting feature when I get to, say, the 1989 sets and there are more update sets to provide more cards, but for now is pointless.
So I will attempt to find rookie cards of players to fill in the gap for now, and I will give the award for the Angels to Mike Witt, who had his rookie card in the 1982 sets. He was a solid pitcher from 1984 - 1988 who pitched the 11th perfect game in baseball history in 1984 and teamed up with Mark Langston to pitch a no-hitter in 1990.
Most Interesting Non-Topps Card
Angel Moreno, who might be considered the 5th starter for the '82 Angels pitching staff, is shown on Fleer card #469. Moreno started his career in 1975 in the Mexican Leagues. He came to the majors in 1981, and had a largely forgettable career in the major leagues, going 4-10 during 1981 and 1982 for the Angels. He bounced around in the minors for a bit afterward, but according to this link, he pitched through the 2006 season in the Mexican Leagues. He still possessed a fastball of 90+ mph at the age of 50.