Angel Stadium and Dodger Stadium are separated by 28 miles. Over the past decade, the two LA teams have been going in two different directions. The Los Angeles Dodgers won eight straight division titles between 2013-2020. Meanwhile in Anaheim, the Los Angeles Angels haven’t seen the postseason in eight years. These teams are about to face each other for the first time this year, so let us look at the best players to wear both Los Angeles uniforms for the Angels and Dodgers.
Notable Players Who Wore Both Los Angeles Uniforms
A handful of Hall of Famers played for both the Angels and Dodgers. One of these players is Eddie Murray. Murray played for the Dodgers from 1989-1991, then for nine more games six years later in 1997 to end his career. Murray played for the Angels for 46 games in 1997 before returning to the Dodgers. The three full seasons Murray had with the Dodgers were fairly productive, as he averaged a line of .278/.440/.779 (average/ slugging/ on-base plus slugging). His time in Chavez Ravine came after his 11 stellar seasons with the Baltimore Orioles. His short time as an Angel was at the end of his career. As a result, nothing much of note happened during his time in Anaheim. He had a .219 batting average in his 46 games with the team.
A lot of players who played for both teams have similar situations play out. While they do well for one team, they’ll perform below average for the other one. This has to do with the fact that, generally speaking, as this shows, players will have played a majority with one team before joining the other later. Nevertheless, having a Hall of Famer play for two crosstown teams is always a fun bit of history.
Steve Finley played in an era when older players played for years beyond what was seen as their prime. He had a long career, mainly with the Arizona Diamondbacks, with whom he won a World Series in 2001. Finely was a serviceable player for the majority of his playing days. Having plus power and defense made him a fit on many teams.
On July 31, 2004, Finley was traded to the Dodgers from Arizona in exchange for a package of prospects that didn’t pan out for the Diamondbacks. Back then, the only player going back to Arizona that had some value was backup catcher Koyie Hill. Finley’s time with the Dodgers was short, only 58 games. However, he had a memorable moment hitting a walk-off grand slam that gave the Dodgers the NL West title in the last game of the season. After the Dodgers’ playoff run ended, he hit the free-agent market.
October 2, 2004: Steve Finley blasts a walk-off grand slam to beat the Giants and clinch the NL West title.
“Wherever it goes, the Dodgers have won”- Vin Scully pic.twitter.com/AbGcJItGik
— This Day In Sports Clips (@TDISportsClips) October 3, 2022
Finley signed with the Angels for two years and $14 million. In 2005, he battled a back injury that limited him to only 112 games. For the season, he batted .222/.374/.645 with 12 home runs and 54 RBI. The Angels in those days were starved for any offense to put behind their MVP, Vladimir Guerrero. Finley only played one season in Anaheim before getting traded to the San Francisco Giants for Edgardo Alfonzo. After the trade, Finley played another two seasons before retiring in 2007 as a member of the Colorado Rockies.
Zack Greinke was a dominant pitcher for so many years. After winning the Cy Young Award in 2009 for the Kansas City Royals, it was only a matter of time before he was traded to a team that was in contention. He was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers before the 2011 season for a giant package that helped shape the Royals for a World Series only four years later. Greinke was only in Milwaukee for a season and a half before being traded to the Angels at the trade deadline in 2012.
Greinke’s time as an Angel was a short one. It only lasted 13 games in a failed attempt to make a push into the playoffs. In order to get the ace, the Angels gave up a fair amount, most notably Jean Segura, who became an All-Star in 2013. Despite the Angels missing the playoffs, Greinke turned in a strong performance, compiling a 6-2 record and a 3.53 ERA in 13 starts. The trade was a bold move for the Angels, who finished third in the AL West that year with an 89-73 record.
In the off-season, Zack Greinke took his talents down the freeway to the Dodgers for five years and $62.5 million. There was an opt-out after the first three years of the deal that he did exercise after the 2015 season to end up in Arizona. Greinke was nothing short of otherworldly in Los Angeles. During those three seasons, he had an ERA of 2.30 on average with a record of 51-15. Shockingly, he lost out on a Cy Young Award in 2015 to Jake Arrieta.
The history between the two teams with Los Angeles in their name is fascinating. A few players played on both teams, from Hall of Famers to fan favorites. In the future, more players should inevitably get added to this list of players who wore both Los Angeles uniforms.
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