Monday, January 23, 2006

No More Gettin' Shiggy Wit It

Former Halos reliever Shigetoshi Hasegawa has announced his retirement from baseball. Shiggy spent five years with the Angels (1997 - 2001) before leaving as a free-agent and signing with the Seattle Mariners (great timing Shig, one more year and you coulda had a ring!). Hasegawa's best year as an Angel was 2000 when he went 10-6 with 9 saves and a 3.57 ERA. The Angels signed the Kobe, Japan native away from the Japanese leagues at a time when few teams ventured to the far east for talent. These days major league teams routinely have scouts in Japan all the time but back in the 1980's it was unusual for a team like the Angels (who were one of the last MLB teams to scout the Latin leagues) to find talent so far from home.

Hasegawa's best year in the majors came with Seattle in 2003 when he had 16 saves and a microscopic 1.48 ERA. Always smiling, Shiggy will be remembered as a solid teammate who was well-liked by fans, players and managers. He will also be remembered for a forgettable play on the Will Smith song "Gettin' Jiggy Wit It" which became "Gettin' Shiggy Wit It". The worst part were the legions of Caucasian Angel fans attempting to dance to the Will Smith tune in the stands. While the kids were cute the adults (usually inebriated) were just sad.

Shiggy was one of the good guys. Not someone who will ever be in Cooperstown or remembered in great Halo montages (though Halofan has a nice one here). Simply a good man who was a good pitcher. We need more Shiggy's in the game today.

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