James Leroy Finigan (August 19, 1928 – May 16, 1981) was a Major League Baseball infielder. He was signed by the New York Yankees as an amateur free agent before the 1948 season, and traded to the Philadelphia Athletics in an 11-player deal on December 16, 1953. He played for the Philadelphia Athletics (1954), Kansas City Athletics (1955–1956), Detroit Tigers (1957), San Francisco Giants (1958), and Baltimore Orioles (1959).
Finigan made his major league debut on April 25, 1954 against the New York Yankees at Connie Mack Stadium, and went on to have a great rookie season as the A's regular third baseman. He hit .302 in 136 games with 7 home runs, 51 runs batted in, a .421 slugging percentage, and finished second to the Yankees' Bob Grim in the American League Rookie of the Year voting. He also was a member of the American League All-Star team.
In 1955, now playing in Kansas City, Finigan split time between second base and third base and was again named to the All-Star squad. His batting average dropped but his run production increased. In 150 games he hit .255 with 9 home runs and 68 RBI. He also scored 15 more runs than the previous year.
His playing time decreased over the next four years, and his days as a regular player were over. His final game in the big leagues was played on July 5, 1959 with Baltimore.
Career totals include 512 games played, 422 hits, 19 home runs, 168 runs batted in, 195 runs scored, a .264 batting average, and an on-base percentage of .342.
Finigan died in his hometown of Quincy, Illinois, at the age of 52.
By Dean Hanley
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