Monday, October 3, 2016

#22 Jim Finigan - Kansas City Athletics

James Leroy Finigan
Kansas City Athletics
Second Base

Bats:  Right  Throws:  Right  Height:  5'11"  Weight:  175
Born:  August 19, 1928, Quincy, IL
Signed:  Signed by the New York Yankees as an amateur free agent in 1948
Major League Teams:  Philadelphia Athletics 1954; Kansas City Athletics 1955-1956; Detroit Tigers 1957; San Francisco Giants 1958; Baltimore Orioles 1959
Died:  May 16, 1981, Quincy, IL (age 52)

Jim Finigan's first season in the Majors was also his best, as the rookie was named to the 1954 American League All-Star team.  He finished second in Rookie of the Year voting that year behind Bob Grim (#52), and he'd return to the All-Star Game in 1955.  Finigan originally came to the Athletics as part of a 11-player trade with the Yankees in December 1953.

Finigan would never again find the same success from his first two seasons, and he'd bounce around from the Tigers, Giants and Orioles between 1958 and 1959.  He wrapped up his six-year big league career as the back-up to Brooks Robinson for the 1959 Orioles.

Building the Set
June 24, 1989 in Ocean City, NJ - Card #75
This is one of three cards from the set my Dad and I purchased at the Ocean City baseball card show held within the Ocean City Music Pier in June 1989.  I would have been just wrapping up my freshman year of high school, and most of my baseball card spending money would have gone towards the 1973 Topps set I was slowly collecting.  In my notes, I've indicated that we purchased this card at "Ocean City IX" which most likely means it was the ninth annual event.

Having just recently attended a baseball card show with my nine-year-old son at a convention center inside a casino, I realize how special those Music Pier shows were.  The windows would have been open inside the showroom floor, and the sounds and smells of the shore served as the background as I poured through binders or boxes of baseball cards.  Above the din of the collectors looking for bargains and dealers hawking their wares, you could hear the occasional sea gull or even the crashing of waves.  I miss those shows and I become more and more nostalgic about them every year.

The Card
Finigan's 1955 Topps rookie card features the same portrait photo, but his 1956 card updates his cap logo from the interlocking "KC" to the "A".  The back of his card makes mention of his inclusion in the massive A's-Yankees trade that brought him to Philadelphia.

1956 Season
Finigan appeared in 91 games for the Athletics, and his slipping batting average (.216 for the season) saw him lose playing time to Vic Power (#67) at second and Hector Lopez (#16) at third.  Following the season, he was traded to the Tigers.

1955 Topps #14
1959 Topps #47
Other Notable Baseball Cards
First Mainstream Card:  1955 Topps #14
First Topps Card:  1955 Topps #14
Last Topps Card:  1959 Topps #47
Most Recent Mainstream Card:  1959 Topps #47

Finigan also appeared within oddball/regional sets such as 1955 A's Rodeo Meats, 1979 TCMA '50s and 1991 Crown/Coca-Cola Baltimore Orioles.

23 - Finigan non-parallel baseball cards in the Beckett online database as of 10/3/16

Baseball Reference
Beckett Database
The Trading Card Database

In some cases, the first and last cards listed above are subjective and chosen by me if multiple cards were released within the same year.  Most recent mainstream card may also be subjective and does not include extremely low serial numbered cards, buybacks or cut autograph cards.


  1. I'm amazed that you took notes on what you bought and where, as far back as the 1980's! That's incredible. I recently started collecting 1956 Topps cards and I have this Finigan in PSA 7. Is it me, or did Finigan age 20 years from '55 to '59?

    Are you from NJ by any chance? I'm in central NJ, Union county.

  2. Good to see you posting again. Love this blog! Keep up the great work.

  3. Looking at this card for the first time in a while, Finigan reminded me of FBI Agent Fornell from NCIS.

    Yep, I've lived in South Jersey for most of my life.