Jackson: The briefest, bitterest cup of coffee

From SABR member Frank Jackson at The Hardball Times on December 2, 2019:

When Tyler Skaggs died on July 1, it evoked memories of the “sudden death” of other active Angels players. Among them are Nick Adenhart in 2009, Lyman Bostock in 1978, and Mike Miley in 1977. A number of former Angels met an untimely demise soon after being traded or released. They include Luis Valbuena in 2018, Tommy Hanson in 2015, Donnie Moore in 1989, and Chico Ruiz in 1972.

Also on that list is Dick Wantz. It is all too easy to overlook the littlest Angel (actually, he was 6-foot-5) because he played during the long-ago (i.e., pre-Anaheim) days of the franchise and his career as a big league player was so brief.

Born Richard Carter Wantz on April 11, 1940, in South Gate, California, he graduated from Artesia High School in 1958. A right-handed pitcher, he also played basketball and golf. After playing on two league championship baseball teams at Cerritos Junior College in Norwalk, he transferred to Cal State University Los Angeles (then known as Los Angeles State College) in 1961. He was named to the California Collegiate Athletic Association’s all-star team and,  After participating in an Angels’ tryout camp, Wantz was signed by scout Rosey Gilhousen and given a bonus.

Read the full article here: https://tht.fangraphs.com/the-briefest-bitterest-cup-of-coffee/

Originally published: December 5, 2019. Last Updated: December 5, 2019.