James C. Figueroa
- Throws Right
- Height 5' 6 1/2", Weight 126 lb.
Jimmy Figueroa was a long-time member of the Puerto Rican national team.
He began his career in Puerto Rico's top amateur league in 1975. He was 1-1 with a 4.03 ERA for the Puerto Rican national team in the 1984 Amateur World Series; his 13 whiffs were second on the team, three behind Mariano Quiñones. He was with Puerto Rico for the 1986 Amateur World Series as well. He was 2-0 with a 2.70 ERA in the 1988 Baseball World Cup, tying for 6th in wins and leading Puerto Rico.
The little right-hander dominated Taiwan in the 1988 Olympics with a five-hit shutout, walking one. He led the Olympics in ERA, 1.00 ahead of runner-up Ben McDonald. Puerto Rico placed third but baseball was not yet a medal event. He was with Puerto Rico for the 1989 Intercontinental Cup, winning a Bronze that time.
Figueroa was 1-1 with a 3.48 ERA in the 1990 Baseball World Cup. In the 1990 Central American and Caribbean Games, he won a Silver Medal with Puerto Rico. At age 36, he struggled in the 1992 Olympics, failing to repeat his success from '88. He again started off with three shutout innings against Taiwan but instead of adding six more zeroes, he gave up 5 runs (3 earned) while getting one out in the 4th as Orlando López took over. He took the loss. He relieved Jesus Feliciano (the only older player on Puerto Rico) in the 7th with a surprising 4-2 deficit against host Spain. He blanked Spain in the 7th and 8th and Puerto Rico rallied for a 6-4 lead. He and Jose Mateo allowed 3 runs in the bottom of the 9th, though, to blow it; he took the loss. Only Félix Nova lost more games in the Barcelona Games and only Silvio Censale had a higher ERA for Puerto Rico.
He would still have many years left in his arm, though. He was still pitching in 2007, his 33rd season and with his 9th team. He finished 156-94, second in Puerto Rico's amateur league in wins, four behind Quiñones.