The Walt Disney Company effectively took control of the Angels in 1996, when it was able to gain enough support on the board to hire Tony Tavares as team president. Gene Autry, however, remained as chairman until his death in 1998. In 1999, Tavares hired Bill Stoneman as team general manager, under whose watch the Angels eventually won their first World Series Championship.
Although Disney did not technically acquire a controlling interest in the team until after Autry’s death, for all practical purposes it ran the team (the Autry loyalists on the board acted as “silent partners”) through its Anaheim Sports subsidiary, which also owned the NHL’s Mighty Ducks of Anaheim at the time.
Disney, of course, had been a catalyst for the development of and population growth in Orange County, having opened its Disneyland theme park in Anaheim in 1955. Autry had named Walt Disney himself to the Angels’ board in 1960; Mr. Disney served on the board until his death in 1966, and had been one of the proponents of the team’s move to Orange County in 1965 – 1966. Walt Disney Pictures also produced the 1994 movie Angels in the Outfield, which featured a fictionalized version of the team.
The 2002 World Series was a best-of-seven playoff series to determine the champion of Major League Baseball for the 2002 season. It was the 98th series between the champions of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), here respectively the Anaheim Angels and the San Francisco Giants. The series was played from October 19–27, 2002 at Pacific Bell Park (now AT&T Park) in San Francisco and Edison International Field of Anaheim (now Angel Stadium of Anaheim) in Anaheim. The Angels defeated the Giants four games to three to win the franchise’s first championship.
In April 2003, it was announced that Arte Moreno had reached a deal with The Walt Disney Company to purchase the team for $180 million. On May 15, 2003, MLB commissioner Bud Selig announced that the sale of the Angels to Moreno had been approved. One of the first people to congratulate Moreno after the news was Diamondbacks’ owner Jerry Colangelo, a personal friend who declared it a good opportunity for Moreno.
Accordingly, the team changed its name again, to the Anaheim Angels on November 19, 1996. Many fans of the team protested the name change, believing the Anaheim name was small-time, though in time the protests fizzled out.
Los Angeles – Anaheim – Los Angeles (Anaheim)
2000 – Present / Major League Baseball
1961 – 1999 / American League
2005 – Present / Los Angeles Angels
1997 – 2004 / Anaheim Angels
1965 – 1996 / California Angels
1961 – 1964 / Los Angeles Angels
Angels – The “Los Angeles Angels” name originates from the first Los Angeles based sports team, the Los Angeles Angels, who took the name “Angels” from the English translation of “Los Angeles,” which means “The Angels” in Spanish.
World Series 1
2004 – Present / Angel Stadium of Anaheim
1998 – 2003 / Edison International Field
1965 – 1997 / Anaheim Stadium
1962 – 1964 / Chavez Ravine
1961 / Wrigley Field
2003 – Present / Arturo Moreno
1996 – 2003 / The Walt Disney Company
1961 – 1996 / Gene Autry
11 Jim Fregosi
26 Gene Autry
29 Rod Carew
30 Nolan Ryan
42 Jackie Robinson
50 Jimmy Reese
*Blue is this team’s history