Wednesday, January 2, 2013

#47 Jim Finigan

1959 in Baltimore was Jim Finigan's last major league stop in a five season career that saw him play for four teams (five if you count the Philadelphia A's and Kansas City A's separately). Finigan signed with the Yankees in the late 40s. He had four pretty good seasons in their minor league chain and a couple of years in the military during the Korean War before he was traded to the A's with whom he debuted in 1954.

He was the A's regular third-baseman that season and hit .302, made the AL All Star team, was second in ROY voting (behind Yankee hurler Bob Grim but ahead of someone named Al Kaline!) and got some MVP votes. He moved to second base and saw his average drop in 1955 by nearly 50 points but again made the All Star Game. That was his final season as a full time starter in the bigs. In 1956 he hit only .216 and played in 91 games. He was traded to the Tigers for 1957, on to the Giants and then to the Orioles for 1959.

For the Orioles he played quite a bit of third base while a slumping Brooks Robinson spent some time in AAA and recovered from a seriously injured arm. When Brooks returned Finigan was back on the bench. He ended his career with a few seasons in the Orioles chain and then some minor league managing. He later coached at Quincy College in Illinois before he died at the age of 52 in 1981.

With his Giants uni showing the picture of Finigan can be traced to 1958. So he was 30 when it was taken. Looks older than that don't ya think? And I'd say he resembles on of my childhood favorites, Howdy Doody.

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