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The 10 greatest Angels of all time, No. 6: Gene Autry

The 10 greatest Angels of all time, No. 6: Gene Autry
Gene Autry stands with Reggie Jackson after the Angels signed him in 1982. (Associated Press)

We recently asked you to list your choices for the 10 greatest Angels of all time. We received 993 ballots. Each weekday morning, a new person will be listed as we count down all 10.

Remember, any Angel was eligible, including managers, owners, announcers, etc. Points were assigned based on where you listed the person on the ballot. Your first choice received 12 points, second choice 10, third place eight, all the way down to one point for 10th place.

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So without further ado, here is No. 6:

No. 6: Gene Autry (248 first-place votes, 3,102 points)

If not for Gene Autry, we wouldn't be counting down the 10 greatest Angels, because the Angels would not exist.

In 1960, baseball announced it was going to put an expansion team in Los Angeles. Reading this news, Autry called MLB executives to inquire about how to become a broadcast partner for the team (Autry owned a radio station at the time).

After discussing terms of a radio deal, MLB executives hit upon a novel idea: Why didn't Autry just buy the team? He did, and named them the Angels.

For years after that, it was the hope of seemingly every Angels fan and player to win a World Series title for Autry. Year after year passed, with no World Series in sight. The team didn't even make the playoffs until 1979.

Autry died on Oct. 2, 1998. The Angels retired No. 26 (as in 26th man) in his honor and finally won the World Series in 2002.

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