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Former Angel Bobby Knoop humbled by Hall-of-Fame induction

September 05, 2013|By Mike DiGiovanna
  • Former Angels second baseman Bobby Knoop speaks during his Hall of Fame induction ceremony Thursday night in Anaheim.
Former Angels second baseman Bobby Knoop speaks during his Hall of Fame… (Chris Carlson / Associated…)

Whether he felt worthy or not, former Angels second baseman Bobby Knoop, who won three Gold Glove Awards and was selected to play in the 1966 All-Star Game, was inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame in a pregame ceremony Thursday.

“It’s pretty incredible to me,” Knoop, now 74, said of the honor. “When I first talked about this, I envisioned myself in a fantasy dream of standing on the field for 3 1/2 hours giving the highlights of my career. After careful review, I got it down to about 3 minutes 10 seconds, because it wasn’t much of a highlight film.”

Knoop hit .240 with 44 home runs and 236 runs batted in during his six-year career (1964-69) with the Angels but was best known for his defense, teaming with shortstop Jim Fregosi to form a superb double-play combination. In six years in Anaheim, Knoop was a part of 636 double plays.

“I’ve never seen a second baseman who was better on the double-play pivot,” Fregosi said during the ceremony.

Knoop remains one of only two Angels -- Garret Anderson is the other -- to be voted team most valuable player four times. He was an Angels coach from 1979-96 and returned to the organization last winter as a special assignment infield coach.

“When I talked to them in January, it took me all of five seconds to say yes,” Knoop said. “I jumped up and down and screamed in excitement. Well, what I probably did was lift one foot and then the other. But it is pretty special.”

Asked to recall his greatest moment as a player, Knoop mentioned the day he was named to the All-Star team and playing in the traditional season opener in Washington, D.C.

“As for my memories, I don’t think about that stuff a lot,” Knoop said. “I know it was fun. I had a great time. I accomplished some things. But I just look forward to today and thank God I woke up this morning.”


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