#85 - SHIGETOSHI HASEGAWA - P
Shiggy made out Top 100 Angels list after the 2008 season where he ranked #78 and our post-2005 season list where we ranked him #98 (LINK) and so this time he is about in the middle of those two positions... such is the suffering of legacy middle relievers...
In 1997, the Angels dipped their toe in the trendy pool of Japanese pitchers a few years after the phenom that was Hideo Nomo had created a cult following up the freeway at Chavez Ravine. Shiggy started off as a starter but quickly found his role in the Anaheim bullpen. By the end of the season he was a fixture there and would only have a single spot start over the rest of what became a 9-year career.
Shiggy's best seasons were his shutdown 1998 and 2000 - he pitched 97+ and 95+ innings with an ERA + of 152 and 145 respectively.
He pitched for five seasons in a winged Disney-logo Angels uniform. He left after 2001 - the final year before the Anegls adopted new, red uniforms and transformed their status in the national consciousness. By then Hasegawa was an All Star for the Mariners and thorn in his old team's side. And yet, there is a certain love of Shiggy by the fans that were here before the bandwagon backed up, a commitment to keeping alive the memory of a 1990s Angels team whose failings and foibles only proved that those who followed it did so out of love, a commitment far deeper than the ease of rooting for a winner.
He still ranks among the franchise top ten in games played - ranking ninth, just behind Nolan Ryan's 291 Games with 287 appearances as a Halo - most of them with the fantastically foresightful introduction video making Will Smith's "Gettin' Jiggy Wit' It" mallable - the tune played but the jumbotron read "Gettin' Shiggy Wit' It". Stats might get you into the rankings but a crazy little intro song will get you into deep into the heart of the fan culture.