In 1961, Major League Baseball granted Gene “The Singing Cowboy” Autry an expansion franchise, the Los Angeles Angels. In the team’s first year, the Angels finished 70-91, with the highest winning percentage (.435) of any expansion team.
The Angels shared Dodger Stadium until ’65, when they moved 30 miles south to Anaheim, became the California Angels, and became neighbors with Mickey Mouse. The Angels drew nearly 1.5 million fans in their inaugural year in Anaheim, but didn’t reach the playoffs until 1979, led by Rod Carew and AL MVP Don Baylor.
Prior to the Angels’ 2002 World Series victory, many people claimed that the team suffered from the “Curse of the Cowboy” and that Angel Stadium was supposedly built on a Native American burial ground. Given the team’s run of success in the 2000s (six postseason appearances and a World Championship), it’s safe to say those theories have been debunked.