The Anaheim Angels are doubly cursed.
The Anaheim Angels are doubly cursed.
Taking stock of people and ideas in the news.
Oct. 18 2002 9:53 AM

The Anaheim Angels

The worst team you've never heard of.

(Continued from Page 1)

What's going on here? Local legend has it that the Angels' ballpark—formerly Anaheim Stadium, now christened Edison Field—was built on an Indian burial ground. (What is this, Poltergeist?) Earlier this month, the Press-Enterprise of Riverside, Calif., reported straightforwardly, "City of Anaheim historians have said there is no evidence to indicate that it's true but nothing to prove it isn't, either." The paper added that, "convinced that their ancestors rest underneath the property," members of a local tribe "blessed the ballpark themselves before this season began." Maybe that lifted the Angels' curse. Or perhaps the totemic Rally Monkey has warded it off.

Either way, the other half of the curse has stuck. The feel-good stories in this year's postseason were the Twins (those loveable Contraction Kids) and the St. Louis Cardinals, who received sympathy for the deaths of a starting pitcher, Darryl Kile,and their longtime broadcaster, Jack Buck. But the Twins' and Cards' adversity goes back only a season. The Angels have suffered for four decades. If they win the World Series, all that changes. Or rather, half of it does. The franchise will still be cursed because hardly anyone will realize what's happened. Once again, Angels fans will have to explain it to them.

Chris Suellentrop, a former Slate staffer, is a host of the podcast Shall We Play a Game?