Friday, February 6, 2015

#372 Rod Nichols

About the Front: That scrunchy elastic on the cuffs of Rod Nichols' uniform pants reminds me of the uncomfortable pants we wore in Little League. Of course, ours also had the elastic waistband, which big league teams were mercifully phasing out in the early 1990s.

About the Back: In Nichols' big league debut, he had a rough start against the Twins. The first two batters in the first inning reached, then he retired the next two before allowing a three-run homer to Gary Gaetti. The rookie calmed down and went the distance in a shortened seven-inning game, allowing only an unearned run on a Ron Washington error the rest of the way, but he lost 4-2.

Triple Play:

1.Rod had a personal 13-game losing streak that spanned from September 14, 1989 to July 17, 1991. He snapped the skid by donning teammate Greg Swindell's socks for good luck. In the streak-breaker, he tossed a complete-game four-hitter, beating Oakland 2-1.

2. Nichols ended his career in Japan with a brief stint with the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks in 1997.

3. He's been coaching in the Phillies farm system since 2000.

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: Rod and Reid Nichols were another pair of mostly-anonymous guys in my collection that I couldn't keep straight. Reid (no relation) was an outfielder for the Red Sox, White Sox, and Expos in the 1980s.

Bill James Said: "He was cut loose by Cleveland, and signed with Albuquerque as a minor league free agent (have the Dodgers actually sunk to using the Cleveland Indians' castoffs?)."

On This Date in 1993: February 6. Teresa Scanlan is born. In 2011, she will become the youngest Miss America since 1937.

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