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BASEBALL / DAILY REPORT : ANGELS : Final Look at Ryan Has Them Pumped

September 16, 1993|BOB NIGHTENGALE

This is the time of season the Angels are exposing as many rookies as possible, but Manager Buck Rodgers said he will make an exception Friday and play his starting lineup against the Texas Rangers.

Friday is not just another game. The Angels will be facing Nolan Ryan for the last time.

"You're seeing the last of a legend," Rodgers said. "This is very special, because seldom do you see someone announce their retirement before the season is over.

"This isn't just another guy who got 3,000 hits, this is the all-time strikeout king who's pitching his last game in Southern California."

The Angels have already sold 43,000 tickets for the game.

How special is the game to the Angel players?

Rookie third baseman Eduardo Perez, who was cleared Wednesday by Dr. Lewis Yocum to resume playing--the magnetic resonance imaging test results on his right elbow proved negative--has pleaded with Rodgers to play Friday. If Perez's elbow is sound, Rodgers said Perez will be provided that opportunity.

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The City of Palm Springs lost the Angels this year when the team moved its spring-training site to Tempe, Ariz., and now the Angels' Class-A club has abandoned it. The California League team will move to Lake Elsinore, playing in a new $12-million stadium.

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