Alan Wiggins was drafted by the California Angels in the 1st round (8th) of the 1977 MLB January Draft-Regular Phase from Pasadena City College (Pasadena, CA). My mother was the first person he told when he learned the unbelievable news and the rest is history.
John Muir High School Baseball Hall of Fame 2018
Yesterday my father was inducted into the John Muir HS Baseball Hall of Fame, which is an incredibly high honor for our entire family. Here are some words that the people closest to my father shared about the moment.
Warren Hollier, Lifelong Best Friend
Warren Hollier is my father's lifelong best friend, and he was also being honored on this glorious day. He was kind enough to share some words of wisdom about life on and off the baseball field.
Here he talks about how everything he did on the field was about perfecting the art and the skill of baseball in itself. He gives sound advice about what to expect from the lessons on the baseball field and how it will impact the rest of your life:
Here he talks about what makes John Muir High School and the Pasadena community so special:
Don't ever forget that Pasadena is thick and rich in heritage!
Jackie McRae-Wiggins, Little Sister
My father's beloved little sister shares some of her fondest memories of her legendary brother:
Here my Auntie Jackie shares more, including the incredible story about how my father would practice his signature when he was only in Little League! She said he told her, "I'm practicing my autograph because I'm going to be needing to sign [it]."
Angela Wiggins, Wife
My mother shares the hilarious story of what happened after my father first got drafted in 1977:
More reflections on my father's career, plus a hilarious "Angie" story at the end:
Here my mother shares how the death of Ricky Snowden (a beloved classmate who was shot and killed at Long Beach Poly when my mother and father were in high school) caused him and Tony Gwynn to bond, and also identifies what makes Pasadena special:
Cassandra Wiggins, Daughter
My sister Cassandra discusses what an honor it is to be a part of the Pasadena legacy. Here she talks about how my father was completely inspired by his personal hero Jackie Robinson, who in my father's case was a hometown hero:
Here Cassandra speaks about how my father literally started from the bottom, and stresses how he was always about giving back and helping his community:
Alan Wiggins Jr., Son
My brother Alan had a few words to share, and speaks about the lessons he has learned despite growing up without a father figure:
Alan Wiggins Legacy
A Gray Spot: Long Story Short
By Candice Wiggins (As told to by Angela Wiggins)
At 9 years old, my father Alan walked from Pine Street to Victory Park all by his lonesome to sign himself up for Little League. When he showed up he was told that not only was he too late, but he also had to bring a parent with him. They told him he couldn’t sign up, and he walked home depressed because it was the last day to sign up.
His sorrowful soul had finally fallen asleep, when suddenly—at around 5 in the morning—his father had knocked on his bedroom window (he and my grandmother had been fighting and he was kicked out of the house.) Much to my father’s delight, his father had an amazing surprise for his son: a fresh pair of cleats, plus he also told him he had went and signed him up for the Little League team!
I can only imagine what that pure joy felt like for my father, as his faith in the world was peacefully restored.
Well, this morning just also happened to be the first day of school. But, as he was about to get ready, he realized that he had no school shoes to wear. Zero pairs. Sadly, his family just couldn’t afford them for him. Now he was faced with a dilemma: either he was going to stay home and live in social fear…or go to school in the cleats that his father just bought for him.
He chose to wear the cleats; and the legend of Alan Wiggins was born that day.
When he first wore them, everyone thought he was odd; but to the boys on the baseball team it was an immediate hit. It became such the cool thing to do that some of the boys started wearing their cleats to school too, just like young Alan Wiggins.
My mother said initially my father was secretly “real embarrassed”, but that he also realized it was all he had at the time.
He learned at this young age how to make the most out of whatever it was he was or wasn’t given in his life. For me, this is the greatest lesson he taught. This will forever be his legacy.
They say this trending style ended when he finally got his new school shoes after rocking cleats for the entire semester. No one wore cleats after Alan stopped wearing them. And no one was the wiser as to why he wore the cleats in the first place, which was just the way he wanted it to be.
For Alan Wiggins, life was always a tender mystery to be solved.
Four time All-American, WNBA Champion, Edutainer and Coach