If you’re a regular reader of FutureAngels.com, you know I’ve been writing about the early history of the Angels’ minor leagues, in particular the inaugural 1961 season.
Last winter, one of the stalwarts of the Angels’ 1970s minor leagues contacted me. Darrell Darrow was drafted out of Long Beach City College in 1970. Except for 1977-78, he was a second baseman in the Angels system for the entire decade, returning for one final season in 1979.
Darrell contacted me to find out if what someone told him was true, that he holds the record for most career triples in the Angels minor leagues. He hit 48 triples in his Angels career. Although I haven’t researched the entire history of Angels minor league baseball, my anecdotal research seemed to indicate he does hold the record.
Then I found out that Darrell has another link to Angels history.
Those of us growing up with Angels baseball in the 1960s remember ads for Home Run Park, a batting cage on Beach Boulevard in Anaheim not far from Knott’s Berry Farm. It was marketed as Jim Fregosi’s operation, but the truth was the real owner was friends with Fregosi and licensed the name. Fregosi was rarely there, but the ads in the Angels scorebooks and on the radio led us to believe that if we went by we would certainly see Jim teaching youngsters to play ball.
Darrell now runs the batting cages for the current owner, and teaches hitting there. Former Angels pitcher Clyde Wright has a bullpen in the back where he teaches pitching.
Yesterday I went to Home Run Park to record an interview with Darrell. We also videotaped a walking tour of this historic complex. As Darrell notes, Home Run Park has been used over the years by many of Orange County’s most prominent professional ballplayers.
If you don’t have broadband, Click Here to listen to an audio-only version of the interview. You need Windows Media Player for all the links.