Graig Nettles (born August 20, 1944), nicknamed "Puff", is an American former Major League Baseball third baseman. During a 22-year baseball career, he played for the Minnesota Twins (1967–1969), Cleveland Indians (1970–1972), New York Yankees (1973–1983), San Diego Padres (1984–1986), Atlanta Braves (1987), and Montreal Expos (1988).
Nettles was one of the best defensive third basemen of all time, and despite his relatively low career batting average, he was an excellent offensive contributor, setting an American League record for career home runs by a third baseman. As a part of four pennant-winning Yankee teams, Nettles enjoyed his best season in 1977 when he won the Gold Glove Award and had career-highs in home runs (37) and runs batted in (107) in leading the Yankees to the World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Nettles in 2007
|Born: August 20, 1944|
San Diego, California
|September 6, 1967, for the Minnesota Twins|
|Last MLB appearance|
|October 1, 1988, for the Montreal Expos|
|Runs batted in||1,314|
|Career highlights and awards|
Born and raised in San Diego, California. Nettles' unusual first name derives from his mother's dislike of the names Greg and Craig – and her combining the two to produce "Graig." "My dad was away at the war, so he didn't have any say." The name also led to confusion for baseball card companies; the error-prone inaugural 1981 Fleer baseball card set includes an error card where his name is spelled "Graig" on the front, and "Craig" on the back.
Nettles graduated from San Diego High School in 1962 then attended San Diego State College on a basketball scholarship. and played for both the Aztecs' basketball and baseball teams. In 1964 and 1965, he played collegiate summer baseball for the Alaska Goldpanners of the Alaska Baseball League, helping to lead the team to two league championships.
The Minnesota Twins drafted Nettles in the fourth round of the 1965 Major League Baseball draft. He made his MLB debut with the Twins on September 6, 1967. Nettles batted .222 in 96 games with the Twins in 1969.
On December 10, 1969, the Twins traded Nettles with Dean Chance, Ted Uhlaender, and a player to be named later (PTBNL) to the Cleveland Indians for Luis Tiant and Stan Williams. After playing three seasons with the Indians, the New York Yankees acquired Nettles with Jerry Moses for John Ellis, Jerry Kenney, Charlie Spikes, and Rusty Torres. The Indians traded Nettles due to a feud between Nettles and manager Ken Aspromonte.
Nettles was named the AL player of the month for April 1974, as he set the AL record for home runs in a month with 11. On September 7, 1974, Nettles was caught using a bat that had six superballs inside it. He said that he had received the bat from a Yankees fan in Chicago and did not know that the bat had been altered.
On September 14, 1974, Nettles and his brother Jim homered in the same game, joining a select club that includes Bret and Aaron Boone, José and Héctor Cruz, Felipe and César Crespo, Al and Tony Cuccinello, Joe and Dom DiMaggio, and Rick and Wes Ferrell. The seven sets of brothers hit their homers playing for opposing teams.
During a brawl in a game against the Boston Red Sox on May 20, 1976, Nettles, who was on second base at the onset of the brawl, tackled Boston pitcher Bill Lee from behind. When it appeared that the dust had settled and the brawl was over, Lee confronted Nettles for tackling him from behind. The fracas resumed when Nettles swung at Lee. More players joined in the fray and Nettles broke Lee's collarbone when they went down in the pile.
Nettles enjoyed his best season in 1977, when he picked up his first of two Gold Glove and crushed 37 homers and 107 RBI in helping lead the Yankees to a World Series win over the Dodgers. The following season, Nettles earned his second Gold Glove to help the Yankees bring back-to-back World Series championships to the Bronx.
During Game 3 of the 1978 World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Yankee Stadium, with the Dodgers leading the series two games to none, Nettles made several plays at the hot corner to stop potential run-scoring hits, and helping the Yankees gain a key win in the series. New York went on to win the next three contests and clinch the world championship.
In July 1980, Nettles hit his 267th career home run, the most among AL third basemen.
In the fall of 1982, George Steinbrenner, the Yankees owner, stated that Nettles "is in the twilight of his career, and if he never plays another game for me, he has earned more than what I have paid him." This comment insulted Nettles, and led to his increased dissatisfaction with the Yankees. The Yankees acquired Toby Harrah in February 1984, intending to platoon him with Nettles at third base. Dissatisfied with the platoon, Nettles reported to spring training at the deadline for his arrival. On March 30, 1984, the Yankees traded Nettles to the San Diego Padres for Dennis Rasmussen and a PTBNL. Nettles had wanted to play closer to his San Diego home, and his approval of the trade was required given his years of service.
Nettles famously characterized his career with the Yankees when he said that "[w]hen I was a little boy, I wanted to be a baseball player and join the circus. With the Yankees I have accomplished both."
Nettles was involved in the infamous 1984 "San Diego Padres–Atlanta Braves Beanball Game", while playing for the Padres during a Braves home game on August 12, 1984. Nettles charged the mound, and attempted to tackle Braves relief pitcher Donnie Moore, after Moore intentionally beaned Nettles. Nettles missed and then was thrown to the ground by Braves first baseman (and former longtime Yankee teammate) Chris Chambliss. In 1985, after teammate Eric Show surrendered Pete Rose's record-breaking 4,192nd hit, Nettles was known for saying, "The Birch Society is going to expel Eric for making a Red famous.", in reference to Show's association with the anti-Communist group, the John Birch Society.
The Padres declined to offer Nettles a contract after the 1986 season, making him a free agent. He signed with the Braves for the 1987 season as a non-roster player, making the Braves' 24-man Opening Day roster. Nettles re-signed with the Braves for the 1988 season. The Montreal Expos purchased Nettles on March 24, 1988.
In his 22-season career, Nettles hit .248 with 390 home runs and 1,314 RBI in 2,700 games. He had a career fielding percentage of .964, exceptional for the hot corner (third base). After retiring at age 43, Nettles coached for the Yankees (1991) and Padres (1995).
Nettles resides in Lenoir City, Tennessee, a suburb of Knoxville. Graig and his wife Ginger have four children: Michael, Barrie, Tim, and Jeff. Jeff was selected by the Yankees in the 47th round of the 1998 draft.
Nettles managed and played for the St. Lucie Legends of the Senior Professional Baseball Association in 1989. He also played for the league's Bradenton Explorers. Nettles batted .301 and played in a total of 62 games; 10 for St. Lucie and 52 for Bradenton. Nettles managed the Bakersfield Blaze of the California League in 1996 to a 39-101 record.
On March 21, 2008 he announced that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer in late November 2007 and would undergo surgery at Manhattan's Memorial Sloan–Kettering Cancer Center on April 8. His brother had been diagnosed with prostate cancer earlier in 2007.
Nettles wrote a controversial book, Balls, a memoir of his baseball career written in collaboration with Peter Golenbock. In the book, Nettles criticized Steinbrenner and some players as well. When the book's advance promotion came to Steinbrenner's attention in March 1984, Nettles was summarily traded to his hometown San Diego Padres.
Baseball writer Bill James noted in his 1984 Baseball Abstract that Nettles is arguably the best position player (i.e., non-pitcher) in major league history whose surname begins with the letter "N." As of 2012 this judgment appears to hold up: the only three players elected to the baseball Hall of Fame with "N" surnames are pitchers Hal Newhouser, Kid Nichols and Phil Niekro.
As of 2010, Nettles holds the single-season major league record for assists by a third baseman, and is tied with Brooks Robinson for second-most all-time. His 412 assists in 1971 broke the record of 405 shared by Harlond Clift in 1937 and Robinson in 1967. In 1973, his first year as a New York Yankee, he recorded 410 assists, breaking Clete Boyer's franchise record of 396 in 1962; Robinson would tie this mark in 1974. To date, Nettles and Robinson have four of the six 400-assist seasons by a third baseman in Major League history.
Nettles is mentioned in the video for Bruce Springsteen's 1985 hit "Glory Days". At the end of the video, Springsteen's character, a pitcher, tells a teen that he lost an imaginary game playing against the San Diego Padres because "Nettles got me, bottom of the ninth."
| New York Yankees team captain
January 29, 1982 to March 30, 1984
Willie Randolph & Ron Guidry
The 1965 Major League Baseball Draft is the first year in which a draft took place for Major League Baseball. It was held on June 8–9 in New York City.In Major League Baseball's first Free Agent Amateur Draft, the Kansas City Athletics selected Arizona State sophomore Rick Monday as the number one pick. Kansas City also chose ten future major leaguers, including Sal Bando (6th round) and Gene Tenace (20th round), building the base for the Oakland Athletics' championship teams of the early 1970s.
A total of 813 players were selected. Some of the more significant picks were catcher Johnny Bench by the Cincinnati Reds in the second round, pitcher Nolan Ryan by the New York Mets in the twelfth round, and infielder Graig Nettles by the Minnesota Twins in the fourth round. The first player to reach the majors was pitcher Joe Coleman, the Washington Senators' first pick and third pick overall. Future Hall of Famer Tom Seaver was selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 10th round but did not sign and returned to the University of Southern California campus.1970 Cleveland Indians season
The 1970 Cleveland Indians season was the 70th season for the franchise. The club finished in fifth place in the American League East with a record of 76 wins and 86 losses.1974 New York Yankees season
The 1974 New York Yankees season was the 72nd season for the team in New York and its 74th overall dating from its origins in Baltimore. The team finished with a record of 89–73, finishing 2 games behind the Baltimore Orioles. New York was managed by Bill Virdon. The Yankees played at Shea Stadium due to the ongoing renovation of Yankee Stadium.1977 American League Championship Series
The 1977 American League Championship Series was a five-game series played between October 5 and 9, 1977, at Yankee Stadium (Games 1–2), and Royals Stadium (3–5). The Yankees took the series 3–2, and defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1977 World Series to take the title. Kansas City was given home-field advantage as it rotated back to the West Division; the Royals held a 102–60 record to the Yankees' 100–62 record.1977 New York Yankees season
The 1977 New York Yankees season was the 75th season for the Yankees in New York and the 77th season overall for the franchise. The team won the World Series, which was the 21st championship in franchise history and the first championship under the ownership of George Steinbrenner. The season was brought to life years later in the book, turned drama-documentary, The Bronx is Burning.1980 New York Yankees season
The 1980 New York Yankees season was the 78th season for the franchise in New York, and its 80th season overall. The team finished with a record of 103-59, finishing in first place in the American League East, 3 games ahead of the Baltimore Orioles. The Kansas City Royals swept the Yankees in the ALCS. New York was managed by Dick Howser. The Yankees played at Yankee Stadium.1981 American League Championship Series
The 1981 American League Championship Series was a best-of-five series between the New York Yankees and the Oakland Athletics.1984 San Diego Padres season
The 1984 San Diego Padres season was the 16th season in franchise history. San Diego won the National League (NL) championship and advanced to the World Series, which they lost to the Detroit Tigers four games to one. The Padres were led by manager Dick Williams and third-year player Tony Gwynn, who won the NL batting title and finished third in voting for the NL Most Valuable Player Award.
In their first 15 seasons, the Padres had an overall won–lost record of 995–1372 for a .420 winning percentage, and finished with a winning record just once (1978). They had never finished higher than fourth in the NL West division, and eight times they had finished in last place. However, they were coming off consecutive 81–81 seasons in Williams' two years as San Diego's manager. They won the NL West in 1984 with a 92–70 record, and set a then-franchise record in attendance, drawing nearly two million fans (1,985,895). They defeated the Chicago Cubs in the National League Championship Series (NLCS), three games to two, becoming the first NL team to win the pennant after being down 2–0. Steve Garvey was named the NLCS Most Valuable Player.1986 San Diego Padres season
The 1986 San Diego Padres season was the 18th season in franchise history.1987 Atlanta Braves season
The 1987 Atlanta Braves season was the 117th in franchise history and their 22nd in Atlanta.1988 Atlanta Braves season
The 1988 Atlanta Braves season was the 118th in franchise history and their 23rd in Atlanta.1994 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting
Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 1994 followed the system in place since 1978.
The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voted by mail to select from recent major league players and
elected Steve Carlton.
The Veterans Committee met in closed sessions to consider older major league players as well as managers, umpires, executives, and figures from the Negro Leagues.
It selected two, Leo Durocher and Phil Rizzuto.Charlie Spikes
Leslie Charles Spikes (born January 23, 1951) is a former Major League Baseball outfielder who played from 1972 through 1980 for the New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, and Atlanta Braves. He also played 26 games for the Chunichi Dragons in Japan in 1981. His playing career nickname was "The Bogalusa Bomber."
Spikes was drafted in the first round of the 1969 Major League Baseball Draft by the Yankees. He made his major league debut with the Yankees in 1972. Following the 1972 season, he was traded by the Yankees with John Ellis, Jerry Kenney and Rusty Torres to the Indians for Graig Nettles and Jerry Moses. His best season was in 1974 for the Indians, when he hit .271 with 22 home runs and 80 RBI. He played for the Indians through the 1977 season, when he was traded to the Tigers for Tom Veryzer.Jim Nettles
James William Nettles (born March 2, 1947) is an American professional baseball outfielder. He played all or part of six seasons in Major League Baseball, between 1970 and 1981, for the Minnesota Twins, Detroit Tigers, Kansas City Royals and Oakland Athletics. In 1975, he played for the Nankai Hawks in Japan, and in 1976 he played in the Mexican League. Following his playing career, Nettles managed in the minor leagues from 1983 until 1996, which included the Madison Muskies from 1985 to 1989.Jim is the younger brother of former major league third baseman Graig Nettles.John Ellis (baseball)
John Charles Ellis (born August 21, 1948) is a former professional baseball player who played first base and catcher in the Major Leagues from 1969 to 1981. He played for the New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians, and Texas Rangers.
He was a standout football and baseball player at New London High School. He later attended Mitchell College for a brief time. After hitting .333 at Triple A, the Yankees called him up in 1969.
In 1971 he was named a Topps All-Star Rookie. After being traded for Graig Nettles, he became the first DH in Cleveland Indians history in 1973. Ellis had his best season in 1974, when he hit .285 (22nd in the AL), had a slugging percentage of .421 (23rd in the AL), 23 doubles (25th in AL), and 64 RBIs in only 128 games. That year, Ellis caught Dick Bosman's no-hitter on July 19. While with the Indians, he was given the nickname "Moose" by Red Sox announcer Ken Coleman.
In the mid-1970s, Ellis joined the Spalding Sporting Goods Advisory Staff and had a signature catcher's mitt sold in retail stores. In 1987 he founded the Connecticut Sports Foundation Against Cancer. The Foundation has an annual dinner at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, CT each year. Recent attendees have included Roger Clemens and Don Mattingly.
His son, John J. Ellis, was a baseball standout and played at the University of Maine - Orono and in the Texas Rangers system for three seasons. His son also competed for the Eastern Tides of the New England Collegiate Baseball League in 1994.List of New York Yankees captains
There have been 15 captains of the New York Yankees, an American professional baseball franchise also known previously as the New York Highlanders. The position is currently vacant after the most recent captain, Derek Jeter, retired after the 2014 season, after 12 seasons as team captain. Jeter was named as the 11th officially recognized captain of the Yankees in 2003. In baseball, the captain formerly served as the on-field leader of the team, while the manager operated the team from the dugout. Today, the captain is a clubhouse leader.
The first captain officially recognized by the Yankees was Hal Chase, who served in the role from 1910 through 1912. Roger Peckinpaugh served as captain from 1914 through 1922, until he was traded to the Boston Red Sox. He was succeeded by Babe Ruth, who was quickly deposed as captain for climbing into the stands to confront a heckler. Everett Scott served as captain from 1922 through 1925. Ten years later, Lou Gehrig was named captain, serving for the remainder of his career. After the death of Gehrig, then manager Joe McCarthy declared that the Yankees would never have another captain. The position remained vacant until team owner George Steinbrenner named Thurman Munson as captain in 1976. Following Munson's death, Graig Nettles served as captain. Willie Randolph and Ron Guidry were named co-captains in 1986. Don Mattingly followed them as captain in 1991, serving until his retirement in 1995. Gehrig, Munson, Guidry, Mattingly and Jeter are the only team captains who spent their entire career with the Yankees. Jeter is the longest tenured captain in franchise history, the 2014 season being his 12th as team captain.
There is, however, some controversy over the official list. Howard W. Rosenberg, a baseball historian, found that the official count of Yankees captains failed to include Clark Griffith, the captain from 1903–1905, and Kid Elberfeld, the captain from 1906–1907, while manager Frank Chance may have served as captain in 1913.In addition, right after The New York Times reported Rosenberg's research in 2007, Society for American Baseball Research member Clifford Blau contacted him to say he had found Willie Keeler being called the team's captain in 1908 and 1909, research that Rosenberg has confirmed.Nettles (surname)
Nettles or Nettle is a locational surname of British origin, which means a person from a place overgrown with nettles. The name may refer to:
Bea Nettles (born 1946), American photographer
Bert Nettles (born 1936), American politician
Bob Nettle (born 1924), American politician
Bonnie Nettles (1928–1985), American cult founder
Doug Nettles (born 1951), American football player
Geoffrey Nettle (born 1950), Australian judge
Graig Nettles (born 1944), American baseball player
Jennifer Nettles (born 1974), American singer
Jim Nettles (born 1947), American baseball player
Jim Nettles (football player) (born 1942), American football player
John Nettles (born 1943), British actor
Kerry Nettle (born 1973), Australian politician
Morris Nettles (born 1952), American baseball player
Ray Nettles (born 1949), American football player
Stephen Nettles (1595–1647), British priestSt. Lucie Legends
The St. Lucie Legends was one of the eight original baseball franchises that played in the Senior Professional Baseball Association in 1989. The club played its home games at the then recently inaugurated Thomas J. White Stadium, located in Port St. Lucie, Florida.The Legends featured players such as Vida Blue, a former American League MVP and Cy Young Award winner, as well as National League MVP George Foster and perennial All-Stars Bobby Bonds and Graig Nettles, who signed on as player-manager. Nevertheless, the Legends were an awful team that lost 20 of their first 23 games, which cost Nettles his manager’s post, being replaced by Bonds for the remainder of the season.The Legends finished the season with an overall record of 20–51 and did not make the playoffs. Juan Beníquez led the team with a .359 batting average, while Willie Aikens and Foster belted 11 home runs apiece.In addition, the Legends had severe financial struggles while averaging only 607 fans for 36 home games. The club folded shortly thereafter.Yankeeography
Yankeeography is a biography-style television program that chronicles the lives and careers of the players, coaches, and other notable personnel associated with the New York Yankees Major League Baseball team. The series is aired on the YES Network and is produced by MLB Productions. The series is hosted by Yankees radio personality John Sterling. The series has earned five New York Sports Emmy Awards since its inception. In addition to airing on YES, MLB Productions has packaged many of the shows into DVD boxed sets.
After debuting as a weekly show with the 2002 launch of YES, Yankeeography only debuts new episodes periodically (as there are fewer prominent Yankees yet to be spotlighted). For instance, four episodes premiered in 2006: Tino Martinez, David Cone, the Yankees' 1996 World Series team, and Billy Martin. All Yankees with retired numbers have had shows completed with the exception of Bill Dickey. The show has been criticized for producing episodes on players who remain active while Hall of Famers from much earlier eras such as Jack Chesbro, Tony Lazzeri, Red Ruffing and Lefty Gomez were not profiled. Some profiles have been updated to reflect new developments.
* denotes co-captain