Born: November 9, 1952
Town: Fort Dix
James David Riggleman was born November 9, 1952 at Fort Dix. Jim and his three brothers grew up in Rockville, Maryland after his father passed away and his mother remarried. Jim was a Senators fans—both the original Senators and the expansion club that began play when he was 8. Jim excelled in baseball, football and basketball in the local youth leagues. He was a standout in baseball and basketball at Richard Montgomery High School. His older brother was the football star in the family, playing for Maryland in the early 1970s.
Jim attended Frostburg State College in Maryland. He was a point guard on the basketball team and played second base for the baseball team. As a sophomore he led the Bobcats to the NAIA World Series where they finished in 5th place. He led the team in homers and RBIs in each of his three varsity seasons and graduated with school records for career home runs and total bases.
In the 1974 draft, the Dodgers selected Jim in the fourth round. Their first pick was Rick Sutcliffe. The Dodgers farmed Jim out to Waterbury of the Eastern League, where he hit for decent average and power and even stole a few bases. However, he was no threat to unseat Davey Lopes in LA, and he was traded during the 1977 season to the St. Louis Cardinals.
Jim made it to Class-AAA New Orleans but did not hit for average, and spent the rest of his career at AA. He belted 27 homers and knocked in 90 runs for the Arkansas Travelers in 1980, leading them to a league title. But when his numbers dropped a year later he was done as a player. The Cardinals kept Jim in the organization, assigning him to manage their teams at A and AA into the 1988 season. In 1991, he managed the Padres’ AAA club in Las Vegas and in 1992 he took over in San Diego after Greg Riddoch was fired.
Jim managed the Padres through 1994, then moved over to the Cubs. He was at the helm in 1998 when Sammy Sosa dueled Mark McGwire for the single-season home run mark. Chicago defeated the Giants in a play-in game for a Wild Card berth but could not get past John Smoltz, Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux in the Division Series, losing three straight. After one more year with the Cubs, Jim became a bench coach in Los Angeles under Jim Tracy.
Jim coached for the Mariners in 2008 and replaced John McLaren in June as manager. He was let go after the season. He was hired as a coach by the Nationals the following year, and replaced Manny Acta as manager at midseason, bring McLaren aboard as his bench coach. Jim won the final 7 games of the 2009 season and did a good job developing the young Nats in 2010 and 2011. In 2012, his club won 11 of 12 games when he suddenly quit, claiming he was unhappy that the team had not picked up his contract for 2012.
Jim managed in the Reds organization in 2013 and 2014, and was Cincinnati’s third base coach in 2015. Jim’s son, Jon, was drafted by the Dodgers in 2002.