Los Angeles Times

‘Littlest Angel’ Pearson dies, 88

- Staff and wires reports

Albie Pearson, an original Angel who played for the team from 1961 to 1966, died, the team announced Monday. He was 88 years old.

Pearson, who was once known as the “Littlest Angel” at 5 feet 5, was beloved. His size, coupled with his contributi­ons and accomplish­ments on the field, made him “the guy-who-never-made-it’s hero,” he once told The Times.

Pearson, in his nine-year career, was American League rookie of the year in 1958, a member of the Washington Senators — who became the Minnesota Twins in 1961. He was named an AllStar in 1963, a member of

Gene Autry’s Los Angeles Angels, starting in center.

Pearson scored the first run in franchise history, part of a three-run first inning in an eventual 7-2 Angels win over the Orioles in Baltimore on April 11, 1961. Pearson went on to lead the American League in runs scored in 1962 and represent the Angels in the 1963 AllStar Game, starting in center field.

His career was cut short at age 31 because of two disks he ruptured in his back.

“While Albie will always be a treasured member of the Angels Organizati­on, his greatest achievemen­ts may have come away from the diamond,” the team said in a statement. “For over 20 years, he and his wife Helen dedicated their time towards impacting countless communitie­s through their tremendous work with Father’s Heart Ranch.”

— Sarah Valenzuela

Dodgers win

Will Smith, who went two for three, hit an RBI single in the third inning, putting the Dodgers on the board first. Luke Williams homered to left in the fourth inning to help lead the Dodgers to a 7-6 win over the San Diego Padres.

Gavin Lux had two hits before he was injured on the basepaths and carted off the field.


New York City’s Department of Transporta­tion swung and missed with a road sign for the Jackie Robinson Parkway that spelled the baseball Hall of Famer’s first name as “Jakie.”

The Department of Transporta­tion said the sign was replaced Monday.

Average salary up

Major League Baseball’s average salary rose 14.8% to a record $4.22 million last year after the end of the lockout, boosted by big deals for Max Scherzer, Francisco Lindor, Marcus Semien and Corey Seager.

The rate of increase was the highest since a 17.7% increase in 2000 to $1.61 million, according to calculatio­ns by the players’ associatio­n.

Game times down

Contrary to previous years, New York Mets righthande­r Scherzer said, the pitcher finally has control of the tempo because of MLB’s new pitch clock.

In his first start of the Grapefruit League schedule, Scherzer was touched for a run in the second inning but struck out five while working the first two innings of the Mets’ 6-3 win over Washington.

The average game time through three days of spring training is 2 hours 39 minutes, down from an average of 3:01 for all of spring training last year.


Former Houston Astros general manager James Click was hired by the Toronto Blue Jays as vice president of baseball strategy. Click, 45, helped build the Houston teams that went to three straight AL Championsh­ip Series and back-toback World Series, winning it all last year. But he clashed with owner Jim Crane, and the Astros announced six days after clinching the title that he would not be back . ... Japanese outfielder Seiya Suzuki of the Chicago Cubs will miss the upcoming World Baseball Classic because of an injury.

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