The "Los Angeles Angels" name originates from the first Los Angeles-based sports team, the Los Angeles Angels, who took the name "Angels" from the English translation of "Los Angeles", which means "The Angels" in Spanish. The team name started in 1892; in 1903, the team name continued in L.A. through the PCL, which is now a minor league affiliate of MiLB. The Angels franchise of today was established in MLB in 1961 after former owner Gene Autry bought the rights to continue the franchise name from Walter O'Malley, the former Los Angeles Dodgers owner who had acquired the franchise from Phil Wrigley, the owner of the Chicago Cubs at the time. As stated in the book Under the Halo: The Official History of Angels Baseball, "Autry agreed to buy the franchise name for $350,000, and continue the history of the previously popular Pacific Coast League team as his own expansion team in the MLB." After the Angels joined the Major Leagues, some players from the Angels' PCL team joined the Major League Angels in 1961.
As an expansion franchise, the club continued in Los Angeles as the "Los Angeles Angels", and played their home games at Los Angeles' Wrigley Field (not to be confused with Chicago's stadium of the same name), which had formerly been the home of the PCL Los Angeles Angels. The Angels were one of two expansion teams established as a result of the 1961 Major League Baseball expansion, along with the second incarnation of the Washington Senators (now Texas Rangers). The team then moved in 1962 to newly built Dodger Stadium, which the Angels referred to as Chavez Ravine, where they were tenants of the Los Angeles Dodgers through 1965.
The team's founder, entertainer Gene Autry, owned the franchise for its first 36 years. During Autry's ownership, the team made the playoffs three times, but never won the pennant. The team has gone through several name changes in their history, first changing their name to the California Angels on September 2, 1965, with a month still left in the season, in recognition of their upcoming move to the newly constructed Anaheim Stadium in Anaheim at the start of the 1966 season. When The Walt Disney Company took control of the team in 1997, it extensively renovated Anaheim Stadium, which was then renamed Edison International Field of Anaheim. The City of Anaheim contributed $30 million to the $118 million renovation with a renegotiated lease providing that the names of both the stadium and team contain the word "Anaheim". The team was renamed the Anaheim Angels and became a subsidiary of Disney Sports, Inc. (later renamed Anaheim Sports, Inc.). Under Disney's ownership and the leadership of manager Mike Scioscia, the Angels won their first pennant and World Series championship in 2002.
In 2005, new owner Arturo Moreno added "Los Angeles" to the team's name. In compliance with the terms of its lease with the city of Anaheim, which required "Anaheim" be a part of the team's name, the team was officially renamed the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Fans, residents, and the municipal governments of both Anaheim and Los Angeles all objected to the change, with the City of Anaheim pursuing litigation; nevertheless, the change was eventually upheld in court and the city dropped its lawsuit in 2009. The team usually refers to itself as the Angels or Angels Baseball in its home media market, and the name "Los Angeles" never appears in the stadium, on the Angels' uniforms, nor on official team merchandise. However, throughout the team's history in Anaheim, the uniforms have traditionally said "Angels" instead of the city or state name, depending on the team's geographic identifier at the time. Local media in Southern California tend to omit a geographic identifier and refer to the team as the Angels or the Halos. The Associated Press, the most prominent news service in the U.S., refers to the team as the Los Angeles Angels, the Angels, or Los Angeles. In 2013, the team was to officially drop "of Anaheim" from its name and restore its original name "Los Angeles Angels", as part of a new Angel Stadium lease negotiated with the Anaheim city government. Although the deal was never finalized, as of 2020, most official sources omit the "of Anaheim" suffix