Cover art for podcast Good Seats Still Available

Good Seats Still Available

256 EpisodesProduced by Tim HanlonWebsite

“Good Seats Still Available” is a curious little podcast devoted to the exploration of what used-to-be in professional sports. Each week, host Tim Hanlon interviews former players, owners, broadcasters, beat reporters, and surprisingly famous "super fans" of teams and leagues that have come and gon… read more


231: The 1956 Los Angeles Angels - With Gaylon White

We revisit LA's spirited pre-majors Pacific Coast League rivalry (begun in Episode 208: The Hollywood Stars - With Dan Taylor) with a look at the team ultimately responsible for the demise of both - the Los Angeles Angels.

Baseball author Gaylon White (“The Bilko Athletic Club: The Story of the 1956 Los Angeles Angels”) helps us set the table for the club’s background story as the city’s preeminent minor league baseball franchise - seen through the lens of its triumphant pennant-winning season of 1956, its penultimate before the National League’s Dodgers took over town.

Comprised of major league castoffs and unproven rookies, the Angels that season were centered around a bulky, beer-loving basher of home runs named Steve Bilko - a former St. Louis Cardinal whose headline-grabbing exploits at the plate led the PCL in eight different categories and the club to a dominating 107-61 record - 16 games ahead of their nearest challenger.

In addition to earning national Minor League Player of the Year honors that season, Bilko also became an instant celebrity in Los Angeles - earning as much (if not more) than some of his better-known major league colleagues, as well as unwitting fame the eponymous lead character for of the Emmy Award-winning Phil Silvers Show.

When the Angels and the Stars left town in 1958, so did Bilko - this time for a few more cups of coffee in the bigs, including, ironically, the first two seasons of the major (AL) league expansion version of the Angels in 1961-62 - the inaugural season of which was played in the same Wrigley Field that housed him and its predecessor.

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