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Jim Finigan

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James Leroy Finigan

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[edit] Biographical Information

Jim Finigan had a career of only six years in the major leagues but achieved prominence early. As a rookie in 1954, he made the All-Star team and finished twelfth in the MVP voting.

Finigan, who was born and died in Quincy, IL, attended St. Ambrose University in Davenport, IA at the same time as Gene Baker. The two of them remain the only two major leaguers to come from St. Ambrose. Baker was to break into the majors the year before Finigan did.

Finigan was signed by the New York Yankees in 1948. Working his way up through the minors, he missed the 1951 and 1952 seasons due to military service during the Korean War. Prior to the 1954 season, he was traded to the Philadelphia Athletics, where he spent his rookie year, hitting .302 and playing third base. When the team moved to Kansas City, he went with them and played there in 1955 and 1956. He was an All-Star again in 1955, with 30 doubles (4th in the league) and 7 triples (8th in the league). In both 1955 and 1956 he played more second base than third base, as Hector Lopez became the third baseman on the team.

Hitting only .216 in 1956, he was traded to the Detroit Tigers after the season, and shared the third base spot on the team in 1957 with Reno Bertoia. Finigan hit .270 on a team whose average was .257.

Bertoia kept the third base job in 1958 while Finigan was traded to the San Francisco Giants, where he appeared in only 23 games in 1958, only 12 of which were in the field. He was then sent to the Baltimore Orioles in 1959, where he finished out his career, hitting .252 in 119 at-bats as a third baseman, filling in for Brooks Robinson who was only 22 but already in his fifth major league season.

He played for the Rochester Red Wings in 1961. He hit a key home run that got Rochester into the post-season, called "Finigan's Rainbow".

He managed Quincy's entry in the Midwest League in 1964.

In the two years before his death, he coached at Quincy College. He died at age 52, apparently of a heart attack.

[edit] Notable Achievements

  • 2-time AL All-Star (1954 & 1955)

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