Angel Stadium, the "Big A"
Angel Stadium was built in 1964 for $24 million. It is currently in its 3rd incarnation.
The stadium first opened for the LA Angels as Anaheim Stadium in 1966. The LA Angels played their first year of existence at Wrigley Field in
LA, then moved to Dodger Stadium for 4 years.
First Version - the baseball only
Anaheim Stadium, 1966-1979
The original ballpark contained 3 tiers
of seats behind home plate and down
the 1st and 3rd baselines, but there
was not outfield seating. The stadium
at the time was best known for the "Big
A" in left field that had a scoreboard in
it, and a halo on top.
The dimensions were 333 feet down
both foul lines, and 404 to dead
center with a curved outfield wall.
During this era, the stadium featured
the 1967 all-star game, 2 Nolan Ryan
no-hitters and Alex Johnson winning the batting title on
the last day of the 1970 season.
The design of the stadium was enjoyed by the true
baseball fan. It was very similar to the popular Dodger
Stadium, but without the outfield seats. Outfield
bleacher seats were not in demand, Anaheim being in
Orange County did not fit the image of the traditional
bleacher bum. So no changes were necessary for this
relatively new stadium. However, a new tenant wanted
to move in, the Los Angeles Rams, and changes would
be required to make this a multi-purpose stadium
Second Version - Multi-Purpose Stadium, 1980 - 1996
When the deal was complete to bring the NFL Los Angeles Rams to Anaheim, major
changes were needed. The stadium needed to become enclosed. Enclosing the
stadium angered the baseball fans. By building grand stands in the outfield, the
views of the mountains and infamous Big A scoreboard were going to be lost. The
Big A scoreboard was moved to the parking lot. The additional stands increased
the size of the stadium from 43,000 to 65,000.
During this second version of the stadium, many memorable moments occurred.
Reggie Jackson's 500th homerun, Don Sutton's 300th win, division championship
teams in 1982 and 1986, and the All-Star game in 1989 which featured
back-to-back 1st inning homeruns by Bo Jackson then Wade Boggs.
Third Version - Back to the Baseball only Stadium, 1997 - current
In 1994, the Rams decided to move to St. Louis, making the Angels the sole tenants
of the stadium. That same year the stadium incurred damage during the Northridge
earthquake. These two events led to the stadium being converted back to a
baseball only stadium. The outfield grandstands were torn down, and a smaller
outfield seats were installed. The views of the mountains returned.
During the time of the renovation, Disney was the owner of the team. Their input in
the new stadium's design is still in place; such as the California Experience geysers.
Costs prevented moving back the original scoreboard, so it remains in the parking
|Above: Photo from the 1997 season when the Angels played in
the stadium while it was still under construction.