The Big A: Boughs of Halos

It's time to take a break from the usual hard-line baseball analysis and get into the spirit of the season.

With the holidays coming up, I have unturned a cornucopia of chotchkies and knick-knacks of all price ranges for yourself or the Angel fans on your gift list, sans the brutal ground battles of the malls this time of year.

1986 Sports Illustrated California Angels playoff cover, $2.00 on eBay

A nice piece to frame and display in an office or game room, this magazine is from October 1986, during the Angels exhilarating series with the Red Sox that year. It features a cover shot of ex-Halos Bob Grich and Doug DeCinses celebrating at home plate. Granted, this is before Dave Henderson's fateful home run, and the Angels still have yet to solve the Green Monster in October, but it's still a heck of a timepiece commemorating an exciting era.

MLB Vintage World Series Films - Anaheim Angels 2002, $12.86 

It's been six years and the luster of the championship still gleams -- but just in case the memo ries have grown fuzzy, what better way to relive the good old days with this DVD? Dramatic taters, high scores and improbable comebacks highlighted the "Wild-Card World Series," a series of battles that erased the franchise's star-crossed reputation and paved the way for a successful decade.

"Once They Were Angels," by Rob Goldman, $24.45 


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It's always to have fresh reading material in a stocking. That said, author Rob Goldman, a bat boy for the team during the '70s, does not disappoint with this rendering. A thorough log of the team's history, the book is choc full of detailed interviews with integral Halos Bo Belinsky, Jim Fregosi, Nolan Ryan, Rod Carew, Don Baylor, among others.

California Angels Authentic 1985 Reggie Jackson Road Jersey by Mitchell & Ness, $249.99 

What's not to like about this resplendent road grey jersey? Functional in a frame or on a pair of shoulders, it's the kind of gift that can't disappoint under the tree. The jersey has a Angels 25th anniversary patch embroidered on the right sleeve and the old state-shaped logo on the left. While Reggie's legacy might be more identified with the Bronx and Bay than his time in the OC, he still churned out a few decent seasons in his five years on the team, including his milestone 500th home run in 1984.

And for the Dodger fan... 

Andruw Jones figurine by McFarlane Toys, $10.99

Tis better to give than receive, right? The bad signing ghost of Christmas past, this detailed plastic rendering of the Dodger "slugger" is a great tongue-in-cheek gift for the braggadocios blue crew supporter in your life. So what the Angels couldn't win their own no-hitter at Chavez Ravine? Nothing says scoreboard like the plastic embodiment of $36 million down the drain.

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