Chone Figgins

Desmond DeChone Figgins (/ˈʃɒn/; SHAWN; born January 22, 1978) is an American former professional baseball third baseman and outfielder. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Seattle Mariners, and Los Angeles Dodgers. Figgins was a utility player, playing all positions except catcher, pitcher, and first base.

Chone Figgins
Figgins with the Seattle Mariners
Third baseman / Outfielder / Second baseman
Born: (1978-01-22) January 22, 1978
Leary, Georgia, U.S.
Batted: Switch
Threw: Right
MLB debut
August 25, 2002, for the Anaheim Angels
Last MLB appearance
June 13, 2014, for the Los Angeles Dodgers
MLB statistics
Batting average.276
Home runs35
Runs batted in403
Stolen bases341
Career highlights and awards

Early life

Figgins was born in Leary, Georgia to Charles Figgins and Eva Callins, who had been born on the same day and lived next door to each other in Leary. When Figgins was a year old, his father moved the family to Brandon, Florida. Both of his parents played competitive slow-pitch softball and were avid baseball fans. He attended Brandon High School where he played only shortstop.[1]

Professional career

Colorado Rockies

The Colorado Rockies drafted Figgins in the fourth round of the 1997 Major League Baseball Draft and moved him to second base because the team had greater expectations for Juan Uribe at shortstop. In July 2001, he was traded to the Anaheim Angels for outfielder Kimera Bartee.[1]

Anaheim Angels/Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Figgins stealing a base for the Anaheim Angels in 2007

Figgins made his major league debut as a pinch runner on August 25, 2002, against the Boston Red Sox. His first hit was an RBI single to right field off Aaron Myette of the Texas Rangers on September 15, 2002. His first full season in the majors was 2004. On May 14, 2004, he went 5-for-6 in a 10 inning game against the Baltimore Orioles and hit his first home run off Kurt Ainsworth of the Orioles. His breakout year came in 2005, when he was moved to leadoff hitter after original leadoff hitter David Eckstein signed with the St. Louis Cardinals. He used his speed to steal an American League-high 62 bases,[2] the second-most in Angels history. That year, he played two positions in the same game 24 times. He was named team co-MVP of the 2005 season for the Angels, along with Bartolo Colón.

Prior to the 2006 season, the Angels signed Figgins to a three-year, $10.5-million deal. He had been eligible for salary arbitration.[3] Figgins became the fifth Angel to hit for the cycle on September 16, 2006, at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.[4] Against the Oakland Athletics on September 29, 2006, he hit his first career inside-the-park home run at Angel Stadium. Along with third base, Figgins also played shortstop, second base, and all three outfield positions. Although he was initially considered for the center field job in 2006, the Angels decided to move Darin Erstad back to the position. Figgins became the starter at third base.[5] With Erstad on the disabled list for much of the season, however, Figgins saw more time in center field.

On March 21, 2007, in a spring training game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Figgins suffered two broken fingers on his throwing hand while attempting to field a ground ball hit by Conor Jackson. He began the season on the disabled list and did not return till the end of April.[6] In June 2007, Figgins recorded an Angels team-record 53 hits in a month, breaking the record set by Darin Erstad in April 2000. With six hits on June 18, 2007, against the Houston Astros, including a walk-off triple, Figgins matched the American League (AL) record for most hits in a nine-inning game. On July 15, 2007, Figgins stole his 187th base as an Angel, breaking the 20-year-old club record previously held by Gary Pettis, in attendance that day as a coach for the visiting Texas Rangers.

In 2009, Figgins was selected to his first All-Star Game.[7] He finished the season with an AL-best 101 walks and finished 10th in AL MVP voting. Although Figgins stole 42 bases in 2009, he was caught 17 times – tied for the most in the majors.[8]

Seattle Mariners

On December 4, 2009, it was reported that Figgins and the Seattle Mariners agreed to a four-year contract worth approximately $36 million.[9] During spring training for the 2010 season, Figgins was converted to second base, moving teammate Jose Lopez to third. Figgins had his worst year to date in 2010, batting just .259, though he did match his previous season stolen base total of 42. Following the season, Figgins converted back to third base, due to the departure of Lopez. Halfway through the 2011 season, he was replaced by Adam Kennedy as the everyday third baseman. In only 81 games, with only 288 at bats, Figgins finished the season batting only .188.

To begin the 2012 season, Figgins was allowed the opportunity to bat leadoff for the Mariners in the hopes that the return to the spot in the lineup where he thrived during his time with the Angels would jump start his bat. On May 4 of that season, manager Eric Wedge announced that Figgins would no longer be an everyday player. He ended the 2012 season batting .181 with 166 at bats in 66 games and was designated for assignment by the Mariners on November 20, 2012.[10]

Miami Marlins

On February 8, 2013, he signed a minor league contract with the Miami Marlins.[11] However, he did not make the team out of spring training and was released on March 20.[12]

Los Angeles Dodgers

After sitting out the 2013 season, Figgins signed a minor league contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers for 2014.[13] The Dodgers purchased his contract on March 16 and added him to the Major League roster. In 38 games with the Dodgers, he appeared as a utility player/pinch hitter and hit .217, though he had a .373 OBP due to drawing 14 walks in 76 plate appearances.[2] He was placed on the disabled list in mid-June with a hip injury and then spent an extended time with the AAA Albuquerque Isotopes on a rehab assignment. The Dodgers designated him for assignment on August 6, 2014.[14] The Dodgers asked for unconditional release waivers on August 13. Figgins was not signed by another team.[2]


On March 20, 2016, Figgins announced his retirement from professional baseball. He signed a one-day contract with the Angels in order to retire with the team.[15]

Personal life

As of 2005, his closest friend in baseball was Juan Pierre.[1]

His brother, Demetrius, worked as a scout for the Angels.[16]

Figgins and his wife, Claudia, had a son, Desmond, Jr., in 2015.[17]

See also


  1. Habib, Daniel G. (September 12, 2005). "Ready for Anything". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 1 February 2021.
  2. Dilbeck, Steve (14 November 2014). "Daily Dodger in Review: Chone Figgins could not beat the odds, or time". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 29 April 2015.
  3. Scarr, Mike. Angels lock up Figgins, Rivera,, January 14, 2006
  4. Scarr, Mike (17 September 2006). "Figgins hits for cycle as Angels fall". Retrieved 13 May 2015.
  5. Scarr, Mike (2006-01-11). "Angels shifting Erstad back to center". Los Angeles Angels. Archived from the original on 2015-12-23. Retrieved 2021-02-05.
  6. Harris, Beth. Despite 0-for-22 slump, Angels leadoff hitter Chone Figgins is prepped for playoffs, Associated Press, October 1, 2007
  7. Singer, Tom. Injured finger sidelines Longoria; Rangers' Young to start; Angels' Figgins added to roster
  8. ""MLB Player Batting Stats – 2009", ESPN, accessed October 8, 2009". Retrieved 2014-01-19.
  9. Rosenthal, Ken (2009-12-04). "Sources: M's, Figgins on verge of $36M contract". Fox Sports. Archived from the original on 2009-12-05. Retrieved 2021-02-05.
  10. "Seattle cuts ties with Chone Figgins". ESPN. 2012-11-20. Retrieved 2021-02-05.
  11. Nicholson, Ben (2013-02-08). "Marlins Sign Chone Figgins". Retrieved 2014-01-19.
  12. Gleeman, Aaron (2013-03-20). "Marlins release Chone Figgins". NBC Sports. Archived from the original on 2015-09-11. Retrieved 2021-02-05.
  13. "Dodgers sign infielder Chone Figgins to minor league deal". Associated Press. 24 January 2014. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
  14. Stephen, Eric (August 6, 2014). "Dodgers designate Chone Figgins for assignment".
  15. "Chone Figgins announces official retirement". March 20, 2016. Retrieved March 20, 2016.
  16. Baker, Geoff (December 16, 2009). "Chone Figgins had his family with him on journey that led to Mariners". Seattle Times. Retrieved 1 February 2021.
  17. Spencer, Lyle (March 21, 2016). "Chone Figgins overcame odds with Angels". Major League Baseball. Retrieved 8 January 2018.
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