Angels shortstops: A glorious tradition

This morning’s LA Times contains a brief note about the snapping of Orlando Cabrera’s 15-game hitting streak. It was the second streak of 15 or more games by an Angels shortstop since 1973, the other having been by David Eckstein. Big deal. What’s striking here is the implication that there was such a streak in 1973. And I am having a really hard time with the idea that Rudy Meoli ever could have had a hitting streak of three games, let along fifteen.

0 thoughts on “Angels shortstops: A glorious tradition

  1. That’s hilarious–he hit .223 (OBP of .290) in 305 ABs, so that streak must’ve been the highlight of his career. Dick Schofield was almost as bad, but played regularly year after year.

  2. Meoli was not only challenged offensively, but defensively as well.
    I remember when I was young, and we actually read box scores, a friend asked “why does it always say E-Meoli in the box score. Does his first name start with E?”

  3. I perused my collection of old Angels media guides and the 1974 guide says that Meoli’s longest hitting streak of the 1973 season was five games. That’s more like it! He did hit .273 for the month of May, however!

    More Meoli: I remember going to one of the last games of the season with my mother and aunt. Meoli was given the team Rookie of the Year award. I distinctly remember my aunt saying, “Was he the team’s only rookie this year?”

    Of course, the note I had seen on Angels shortstops’ hitting streaks did not say there was a 15-game streak in 1973. It only said that Cabrera’s this year was the longest since 1973. Maybe Elias did not have any data on this from earlier than 1973.

    (I should note two very good memories I have of Meoli in 1973. He made a great over-the-shoulder catch to preserve Nolan Ryan’s first no-hitter. He also hit an inside-the-park homer in a game in KC, the first such homer of my memory. Back on the negative, he and Sandy Alomar both looked at the ball and at each other as a very catchable popup by Thurman Munson in the first inning of an August or September game fell in for the only “hit” of what could have been Ryan’s record-setting third no-hitter of the season. I remember my aunt–yes, we went to a lot of ballgames together–saying that Ryan really deserved a no-hitter because he only walked six (or whatever it might have been). Yes, those were the days when if Ryan walked less than eight he’d shown pretty good control! And, yes, we always kept a scorecard and I still have this one, for sure.)

  4. I did a little research and apparently Meoli beat out Leo Cardenas (the Angels 1972 regular shortstop) for the shortstop job in the spring of 1973.

    Cardenas was traded at the end of spring training that year to the Indians for Tom McCraw. By the end of the summer, Meoli had lost his job. Dave Chalk was called up at the beginning of September and had 69 at bats in 24 games, pretty much a regular for that month. Meoli went on to be a reserve for two more seasons with the Angels, then one season each with the Cubs and Phillies in the late 70s. He career ended when he was released by the San Francisco Giants at the end of Spring Traning in 1980.

  5. More Meoli: He was traded to the Padres after the 1975 season along with Bobby Valentine for Gary Ross, who was in the Angels’ starting rotation in the 1976 season. Meoli was later traded by the Padres to the Reds for Merv Rettunmund, who is now the Padres’ hitting coach. Meoli never played for the Padres or Reds at the major league level, and must have played for the Padres and Reds then AAA affilates at Hawaii and Indianapolis in the 1976 and 1977 seasons.

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