ALAN WIGGINS- SECOND BASE
The life of Alan Wiggins was a very complicated one indeed. He was an important part of the Padres 1984 team as his speed was game changing.
He lost his life way too young, but his legacy lives on with his daughter who is a great professional athlete herself (Candice Wiggins WNBA), and his son who has played basketball professionally around the world.
Alan Wiggins was drafted in the first round (8th overall) by the California Angels in the 1977 draft. After only a season and a half the Angels released him and he was picked up by the Los Angeles Dodger as a minor league free agent. In 1980 for the Lodi Dodgers, Wiggins snatched 120 bases and caught the eye, of then, Padres GM Jack McKeon. The Padres drafted Wiggins from the Dodgers via the Rule 5 draft on December 8th, 1980.
Wiggins spent five total years with the Friars, and recorded 1,400 at bats. He hit .260 career with four home runs and 71 runs batted in. Wiggins also swiped 171 total bases as a Padre and had a career on base percentage of .335. The 1984 season was easily Wiggins best season in the major leagues. He played in 158 games and stole 70 bases that year, while hitting .258. Wiggins stole a record 5 bags in a game on May 17, 1984.
Wiggins in front of Tony Gwynn created headaches for many teams in the National League. Wiggins went 8-22 in the Wold Series (.364) but only managed 1 stolen base. He played well but the hill was just too high to climb. The middle of the order let the Padres down in that series.
Wiggins came to the Padres with a history of substance abuse and he was relapsed two weeks into the 1985 season. He was suspended by the Padres and was never reactivated by the team again. On June 27 1985 Wiggins was traded to the Baltimore Orioles for Roy Lee Jackson and Richard Caldwell. The Padres essentially just washed their hands of the promising lead-off hitter.
Wiggins lasted three seasons with the Orioles, but never was an everyday player. After the 1987 season Wiggins was released by the Orioles and never played pro ball again. He passed away in 1991 at a Los Angeles hospital. Reportedly due to complications from AIDS. He has the dubious distinction of being the first professional baseball player to die from the disease.
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James was born and raised in America’s Finest City. He is a passionate baseball fan with even more passion towards his hometown Padres. Editor-In-Chief of EastVillageTimes.com. Always striving to bring you the highest quality in San Diego Sports News. Original content, with original ideas, that’s our motto. Enjoy.