When Chone Figgins was drafted in the fourth round of the 1997 Amateur Draft by the Colorado Rockies, he wasn’t regarded as a top prospect. In fact, the feisty ball player considered a fringe Major Leaguer, if he ever made it that far. This only motivated him to get to the Big Show. And after being acquired by the Angels in 2001, ‘Figgy’ made is debut with the 2002 World Champion Angels.
Fourteen years later, the 38-year plan former speedster will sign a ceremonial one-day contract at Tempe Diablo Stadium to retire as an Angel.
Figgins was primarily used a pinch-runner in his first season. Then, he turned into one of the most versatile players in Angels history, and perhaps in the entire game at the time. Compiling a .291/.363/.388 slash line, Chone ‘got Figgy with it’ for eight seasons with the Halos, and becoming the franchise leader in stolen bases with 280.
Figgins’ best season was 2009. His .298/.395/.393 line and 42 bags that season would help propel the Angels to an ALCS showdown with the New York Yankees. Those numbers also helped score him his first free agent contract.
Figgins signed with the Seattle Mariners prior to the 2010 season for four years, $32 million dollars. Unfortunately, he never replicated his success in Anaheim, hitting just .227/.302/.283, but still averaged 33 stolen bases. He then missed the 2013 season, and then finished his career with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2014.
And despite his regression after leaving the Big A, one could still argue that the Angels lost much of their consistent ability to get to the playoffs, and their trademark ‘Angels Baseball’ style, when Figgins left.
Regardless, Chone Figgins is retiring as an Angel.