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

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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