Until 2015, the Angels Major League Baseball franchise, who play their home games in Angel Stadium at 2000 E Gene Autry Way in Anaheim, Orange County, California, officially went by the embarrassing name “The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim”, due to a lease agreement that required the city to also be in the name.

Obviously, both Anaheim and Orange County are not in Los Angeles.

This naming injustice, now slightly corrected to just “The Los Angeles Angels” underscores the unfair naming woes the team has faced since its inception.

As a Dodgers fan who still has love for both the Angels and the entire state of California, I think it’s time to fix it, and give fans something they can rightfully rally behind as residents of a region with a rich and interesting history.

My Proposal

Call the Team the
Santa Ana Angels.

Hear me out.

In the early 1800s, the areas of Orange County that are now known as Santa Ana, Orange, Anaheim, etc., were held as Ranchos de Santa Ana. The region was named as such when it was “discovered” by the Portolá Expedition on the Feast Day of St. Anne in 1769.

Problematic colonial issues aside, the region has been Santa Ana for quite some time.

Anaheim was part of the Rancho San Juan Cajón de Santa Ana, and modern Santa Ana was held within the Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana.

Modern Day Angel Stadium sits within an area now known as the Platinum Triangle, and is actually quite easy to place on historic maps, as it sits at the intersection of the Santa Ana River and the Metrolink Orange County Line (the tracks for which were originally built in the 1870s by Southern Pacific).

Interestingly, it sits within the Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana, which is where present-day Orange and Santa Ana were established, not in the Rancho that modern Anaheim was built within.

As I’m sure you know, when the team was founded in 61, they played in LA. They were the LA Angels. In 66, they moved to Orange County, and changed their name to the California Angels from 1965 to 1996 and the Anaheim Angels from 1997 to 2004.

In 2005, new owner Arturo Moreno changed the name to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim to market the team as being from Southern California. Which, no offense, but come on.

The change was met with opposition from fans, residents, and both Anaheim and Los Angeles city governments.

Anaheim officials called the change a breach of the team’s lease, and Orange County residents were angry, as they rightfully consider Orange County to have its own identity separate from Los Angeles.

So why not call them the Anaheim Angels and be done with it? For me, the history is key (also, no offense, but when they did sport that name in the 90s, the branding was atrocious).

This portion of Orange County has a deeply Hispanic history and current population, but the city of Anaheim was founded in 1857 by 50 German-Americans who were residents of San Francisco. After traveling through the state looking for a suitable area to grow grapes, the group purchased a large parcel from the Rancho San Juan Cajón de Santa Ana.

Their new community was named Annaheim, meaning “home by the Santa Ana River” in German.
To the Spanish-speaking neighbors, the settlement was known as Campo Alemán, meaning “German Field”.

But Anaheim, Orange, Santa Ana, Costa Mesa, Buena Park and more all sit in the foothills of the Santa Ana Mountains, along the Santa Ana River, in Santa Ana Canyon, in the Santa Ana Valley.

The region is Santa Ana.

The Angels play baseball to represent the Santa Anas.

Even if the stadium technically (barely) resides in Anaheim.

It’s time for a name that fans can rally around.

Plus, let’s be honest: Santa Ana Angels sounds cool as hell.

With that, I present my proposal for a rebrand. Introducing, the Santa Ana Angels.

Baseball branding should feel nostalgic and traditional, and embrace a heritage aesthetic. So that’s what we’re doing here.

The A with the halo will always be a part of the team’s history, and I propose a few alternates for use, depending on placement.

And don’t worry. We’d keep the retro serifed wordmark around as a fun alternate.

By embracing Santa Ana, the team can actually represent their home when they go on the road.

Right now, they’re one of the only teams that wears their team’s name at home and away.

Thanks for reading! This was a fun spec project. Maybe one day it’ll become a reality.

Until then, let’s go Halos!

Santa Ana Angels

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