In 1960, Gene Autry, already famous as a singing cowboy, decided to travel to the Major League Baseball expansion meetings to see if he could find a baseball team to broadcast on his radio station. He walked away with an actual team instead.

Fifty years later, that same team, the Los Angeles Angels, are planning a year-long bash to commemorate their 50th birthday.

The Angels will unveil their plans this Friday, and they are going all out. The year long celebration salutes loyal Halos fans and remembers former Angels players. During the season, 81 former Angels players will throw out the first pitch before each game, and Angels Stadium will feature retro nights and giveaways as well.

New uniforms will also be introduced. On the front of the club’s home, road and alternate red jerseys, a gold halo is featured on the “A” of the club lettering. The 50th anniversary patch will be featured on the right sleeve.while an “A” patch with gold halo will be featured on the left sleeve.

The caps will also be different. Hats will now feature a gold halo around the primary “A” logo as well as a 50th-anniversary patch affixed to the left side. And on the playing field, the 50th anniversary logo will be displayed in center field, replacing the 2010 All-Star game sign. The 50th anniversary logo will also be prominently featured throughout different areas of the ballpark, including on the windows above the home-plate gate.

Local radio station AM830 and Fox Sports West television will feature special 50th anniversary programming throughout the year, with retrospectives and a program chronicling the 2002 World Champion season.

From 5-7 p.m. PT on Friday, fans can join in on the festivities at the home-plate gate, where current and former Angels will be doing live interviews and prizes will be given away. The Angels will be playing host to the Chicago White Sox, with Joel Pineiro on the mound for his second start since returning from the disabled list with an oblique injury suffered two months ago.

The anniversary logo to be revealed has a gold halo, and the number 50 is featured prominently beneath it with a ribbon that signifies the prosperity of the last half-century.

While the 2010 season overall was a disappointment for the Los Angels Angels and their fans, it certainly won’t dampen the spirit of next season’s celebration. In fact, gold will rule the day, and the year.

For continuing Angels news updates, follow Doug on Twitter, at Sports_A_Holic.

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