Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Name: Robert “Bo” Belinsky
Nickname: Bo
Position: Pitcher
Throws: Left
Bats: Left
Number(s): 36

Years Played As an Angel: 1962-1964
Angels’ Stats: 21-28, 3.74 ERA, 399.1 IPs, 296 Ks
Career Stats: 28-51, 4.10 ERA, 665.1 IPs, 476 Ks

How He Was Acquired: Bo was first acquired by the Los Angeles Angels during the expansion draft of 1961.

Why You Should Know Him: When Andy Warhol spoke of 15 minutes of fame, it could be said that Bo made more out of that 15 minutes as well as 28 career wins than anyone else who played the game, and did so with absolutely no regrets. Originally signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1957 in the amateur draft and subsequently traded to the Baltimore Orioles, who then left him unprotected in the 1961 expansion draft, Bo Belinsky made his claim to fame in his first full major league season as a starting pitcher for the Los Angeles Angels.

Although Bo is probably remembered by Angels fans as the man who pitched the team’s first no-hitter, he was probably more famous to everyone else for his jet- set Hollywood lifestyle, poolside chats, and relationships with Hollywood actresses such as Mamie Van Doren and Ann Margret, among others.

Memorable Moments/Games: May 5, 1962, with Buck Rodgers behind the plate, Bo Belinsky forever found his way into Angels lore by becoming not only the first Halos pitcher to toss a no hitter, but also the first major league pitcher to ever do so on the west coast. He struck out nine and walked four in the game. According to Rodgers, Bo had an over powering fastball that set up a knee-buckling screwball.

Anecdotes and Quotes: "You know, I've probably gotten more mileage winning 28 games in the majors than most guys who've won 200."

Where is He Now?: After retiring from baseball in 1970, Bo married & divorced twice before coming to terms with his alcoholism which he felt was a major cause of his bladder cancer. Shortly before his death in 2001 from a heart attack, he celebrated 25 years of sobriety; certainly an achievement that many who faced the same challenges that Bo faced in his life would give up anything for.

Contributed by Jim Streifel - AngelsWin.com Columnist
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