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Timothy James "Tim" Salmon (born August 24, 1968 in Long Beach, California) is a former Major League Baseball right fielder/designated hitter who played his entire career with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim franchise. Known affectionately among Angels fans as the King Fish, he is considered one of the greatest players in the Angels' franchise history.
Since being named the American League's Rookie of the Year in 1993, Salmon has become a favorite of the Angels organization and a household name among the team's fans. Salmon was a crucial part of the Angels' playoff and World Series run in 2002, hitting two key home runs in Game 2 of the World Series against the San Francisco Giants.
Salmon had appeared in only 60 games for the Angels in 2004. After being sidelined for the entire 2005 season to recover from left knee and right rotator cuff surgery, a return was doubtful. Deciding against ending his career on those terms, however, Salmon dedicated himself to becoming healthy enough to play one final season in 2006. On December 2, 2005, the Angels announced that they had agreed to terms on a minor league contract with Salmon, making him a non-roster invitee to the team's 2006 Spring Training. Though he preferred to return to the Angels, Salmon was aware that he was considered unlikely to make the team's roster, but he saw the opportunity to play with the team during the exhibition season as a chance to potentially audition for other teams.
However, Salmon turned in a surprisingly strong performance during Spring Training and secured a role for himself with the Angels. At the end of the exhibition, the team announced that Salmon had made their roster, meaning he would earn a $400,000 salary for the 2006 season. Salmon spent the season as a designated hitter and reserve outfielder. He indicated that making it through the season successfully would mean that he accomplished his goal of being able to end his career on his own terms. On September 27, 2006 Salmon announced he would retire at the end of the 2006 season.
As of the end of the 2006 season, Salmon is the Angels' all-time leader in home runs (299), runs scored (983), walks (965) and slugging percentage (.499). He is second in franchise history with 1012 RBIs, behind only Garret Anderson.
Interestingly, despite his above average career numbers and impressive single season accomplishments, Salmon was never selected as an All-Star during his career. In fact, he has the greatest number of career home runs (299) for a player never selected to an all-star team among players whose entire career was played after the first All-Star Game in 1933. Rogers Hornsby hit 301 career home runs and also never played in an All-Star Game, but most of Hornsby's career pre-dated the first All-Star Game.
Tim Salmon played his final Major League game on October 1, 2006 against the Oakland Athletics. His name and jersey number were cut into the infield and outfield grass of the playing field at Angel Stadium.
Tim Salmon's cousin is actress Holly Hunter.
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- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube
|American League Rookie of the Year|
|American League Player of the Month|
|AL Comeback Player of the Year|