It took the Angels 19 innings to reach disappointment Monday, losing to the Oakland Athletics, 10-8.
The game will probably fade into the history books … or so the Angels' Josh Hamilton can only hope.
The Angels went a little longer in the Oakland Coliseum to get to defeat in 1971, losing 1-0 in 20 innings. It was a game that holds a place in team and, tragically, baseball folklore.
The Angels' Tony Conigliaro struck out five times that night, lighting a fuse. The last came in the 19th inning, with Conigliaro getting tossed out for arguing the call. On the way out, he took off his helmet and smacked it with his bat.
In the early morning hours, at an impromptu news conference, a despondent Conigliaro announced his retirement.
“I was hitting behind Tony, so we were passing each other a lot that night,” former Angels outfielder Billy Cowan said in 1991. “When he struck out, he would have to pass me on his way to the dugout. After a while I was saying stuff like, ‘Well, it's my turn next.’ But Tony wouldn't laugh. I watched him go from confident to semi-confident to total frustration in that one game.”
Angels Manager Lefty Phillips was less kind, saying at the time, “The man belongs in an institution.”