The history of baseball in California extends back, long before the first MLB teams relocated to the West Coast. Beginning in the mid-1850s as a result of the large population influx that occurred because of the California Gold Rush, baseball served as a popular form of entertainment in the Golden State for nearly a century before the MLB's westward expansion, starting out as an amateur form of recreation, yet evolving to ultimately become a professional sport, led by the Pacific Coast League (PCL), an organization that fulfilled the same role as the MLB in the Eastern United States. The PCL enjoyed several decades of prosperity, with teams located throughout California and in Washington. One of the league's more successful teams was the Los Angeles Angels. In existence since 1903, the Angels became one of the more popular teams within the PCL and were regularly contenders to win the pennant. In 1956, after multiple attempts to have the city build a new stadium for his team, Walter O'Malley, president of the Brooklyn Dodgers began considering the possibility of relocating the team to a new state. After a series of negotiations, the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles where they began the 1958 season, while the New York Giants relocated to San Francisco. This move ultimately proved to be the downfall of the PCL, which was unable to compete with the new MLB teams. The various ball clubs that made up the PCL soon moved to other states east of California and the league was demoted to AAA status. In the following years, the success brought on by the Dodgers' move to the West Coast became evident and the American League soon decided to create a new franchise in Los Angeles. A name that would harken back to the glory years of the PCL was chosen and the new team was designated the "Los Angeles Angels." Throughout the Angels' history, they have attempted to compete directly with the Dodgers and establish their own fan base, however due to the difficulty in standing out when located so close to the wildly popular Dodgers, the team was unable to establish a successful and unique team identity for the majority of its history. To evaluate the effectiveness of the different changes the Angels have made over time, a study was conducted to evaluate perceptions between the two teams. The findings indicated a preference towards the Angels among participants from the United States, especially those familiar with the MLB and its structure. In contrast, the Dodgers proved to be more popular among participants who were originally from other countries. People who preferred the Angels also appeared to be more competitive than those who indicated a preference for the Dodgers. From these results it appears that the Angels have been successful in their quest to rival the Dodgers and establish their own substantial fan base. However it also seems that the Dodgers may have more international fans, as well as a large number of fans from the United States who tend to be more casual.
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