Russ Nixon

Russell Eugene Nixon (February 19, 1935 – November 8, 2016) was an American catcher, coach and manager in Major League Baseball. A veteran of 55 years in professional baseball, Nixon managed at virtually every level of the sport, from the lowest minor league to MLB assignments with the Cincinnati Reds and Atlanta Braves. He was born in Cleves, Ohio, near Cincinnati.

Russ Nixon
Russ Nixon 1963
Catcher / Manager
Born: February 19, 1935
Cleves, Ohio
Died: November 8, 2016 (aged 81)
Las Vegas, Nevada
Batted: Left Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 20, 1957, for the Cleveland Indians
Last MLB appearance
September 16, 1968, for the Boston Red Sox
MLB statistics
Batting average.268
Home runs27
Runs batted in266
Managerial record231–347
Winning percentage.400
Teams
As player

As manager

As coach

American League catcher

Nixon graduated from Western Hills High School in Cincinnati, and also attended the University of Cincinnati.

He batted left-handed and threw right-handed, and stood 6 feet 1 inch (1.85 m) tall and weighed 190 pounds (86 kg) in his playing days (1953–68).

Nixon and his twin brother, Roy, an infielder, each signed with the Cleveland Indians in 1953. Although Roy never played Major League Baseball, retiring after five minor league seasons, Russ Nixon fashioned a 12-year MLB career with the Indians (1957–60), Boston Red Sox (1960–65; 1968) and Minnesota Twins (1966–67). In his best season, 1958, Nixon caught 101 games for Cleveland and batted .301.

Overall, he appeared in 906 games through all or parts of 12 seasons, and batted .268. His 670 hits included 115 doubles, 19 triples and 27 home runs. He holds the record for most games played without ever stealing a base.

In addition, Nixon was actually traded twice to the Red Sox in 1960. Cleveland initially dealt him to Boston on March 16 for catcher Sammy White and first baseman Jim Marshall.[1] White chose to retire and the trade was cancelled but not before Nixon played five exhibition games for the Red Sox.[2] Nixon returned to the Indians and started the regular season with them, appearing in 25 games, 21 as the starting catcher; then, almost three months after the original swap, on June 13, he was traded to the Red Sox a second time, with outfielder Carroll Hardy for Canadian-born pitcher Ted Bowsfield and outfielder Marty Keough.[3]

National League coach and manager

Nixon went to spring training in 1969 with the Chicago White Sox, but was given his unconditional release a week before the regular season began.

His managing career began in the Cincinnati Reds' farm system in 1970 and in 1976 he was promoted to a coaching position with the defending World Series champion Reds, under Baseball Hall of Fame manager Sparky Anderson. In Nixon's first season, Cincinnati's "Big Red Machine" dynasty reached its pinnacle with a second consecutive world championship, dispatching the New York Yankees in a four-game sweep in the 1976 World Series. However, the Reds' period in the sun began to dim with the advent of baseball free agency. Anderson was fired after the 1978 season, and Nixon remained on the Reds' staff under their new manager, John McNamara, in 1979.

After compiling the best overall record in the National League West Division during the strike-affected split season of 1981, the Reds unraveled in 1982, plummeting into last place and losing 101 games. McNamara was fired July 21 and Nixon took his place. Nixon was unable to right the ship, as the Reds went 27–43 the rest of way en route to what is still the only 100-loss season in franchise history. When the Reds finished last again in 1983, Nixon was fired. He then coached for the Montreal Expos (1984–85) before signing as a coach with the Braves. Nixon worked for Chuck Tanner in 1986–87 before his appointment as pilot of the Greenville Braves, the club's Double-A Southern League affiliate, for 1988.

While new general manager Bobby Cox had done much to rebuild the Braves' farm system, at the National League level Atlanta was in free fall. When the Braves dropped 27 of their first 39 games in 1988, Nixon was recalled from Greenville to succeed Tanner on May 23—a rare promotion of a manager from AA all the way to the majors. However, the losses continued to pile up. The 1988 Braves finished 54–106, the worst season in the Atlanta portion of Braves history and the franchise's worst since its struggles in Boston during the Great Depression. Nixon was unable turn the Braves' fortunes around in 1989 and 1990, seasons in which the Braves lost 97 games each, despite breaking in talented young pitchers such as Tom Glavine, John Smoltz and Steve Avery. On June 22, 1990, Cox fired Nixon.

Late career

Nixon remained in the game as a minor-league manager and instructor, except for 1992, when he returned to the American League to spend one year as a coach for the Seattle Mariners. At age 70, he spent the 2005 season as manager of the Greeneville Astros, rookie-level Appalachian League affiliate of the Houston Astros, and in 200607 he was a roving instructor in the Houston farm system. In 2008, Nixon, then 73, was still active in baseball as a roving instructor in the Texas Rangers' farm system, appointed by the club president at the time, Nolan Ryan.[4]

Death

Russ Nixon died on November 8, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada, at the age of 81.[5]

References

  1. ^ Indians get Sammy White
  2. ^ Russ Nixon feels Staub getting too concerned
  3. ^ "Indians, Red Sox exchange players". Milwaukee Journal. AP. 13 June 1960. p. 16. Retrieved 3 June 2010.
  4. ^ Grant, Evan (27 April 2008). "Texas Rangers going back to basics". Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 3 June 2010.
  5. ^ Sheldon, Mark (November 11, 2016). "Former Reds, Braves manager Nixon dies". MLB.com. Retrieved November 13, 2016.

External links

1960 Boston Red Sox season

The 1960 Boston Red Sox season was the 60th season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished seventh in the American League (AL) with a record of 65 wins and 89 losses, 32 games behind the AL champion New York Yankees.

1960 Cleveland Indians season

The 1960 Cleveland Indians season was a season in American baseball. It involved the Indians' fourth-place finish in the American League with a record of 76 wins and 78 losses, 21 games behind the AL Champion New York Yankees. This season was notable for the infamous trade of Rocky Colavito.

1961 Boston Red Sox season

The 1961 Boston Red Sox season was the 61st season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished sixth in the American League (AL) with a record of 76 wins and 86 losses, 33 games behind the AL and World Series champion New York Yankees.

1962 Boston Red Sox season

The 1962 Boston Red Sox season was the 62nd season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished eighth in the American League (AL) with a record of 76 wins and 84 losses, 19 games behind the AL pennant winner and eventual World Series champion New York Yankees.

1963 Boston Red Sox season

The 1963 Boston Red Sox season was the 63rd season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished seventh in the American League (AL) with a record of 76 wins and 85 losses, 28 games behind the AL champion New York Yankees.

1964 Boston Red Sox season

The 1964 Boston Red Sox season was the 64th season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished eighth in the American League (AL) with a record of 72 wins and 90 losses, 27 games behind the AL champion New York Yankees.

1965 Boston Red Sox season

The 1965 Boston Red Sox season was the 65th season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished ninth in the American League (AL) with a record of 62 wins and 100 losses, 40 games behind the AL champion Minnesota Twins, against whom the 1965 Red Sox lost 17 of 18 games. The team drew only 652,201 fans to Fenway Park, seventh in the ten-team league but the Red Sox' lowest turnstile count since 1945, the last year of World War II.

1967 Minnesota Twins season

The 1967 Minnesota Twins finished 91–71, tied for second in the American League with the Detroit Tigers. The Twins had a one-game lead on the Red Sox with two games remaining in Boston, but lost both games. A total of 1,483,547 fans attended Twins games, the second highest total in the American League.

1968 Boston Red Sox season

The 1968 Boston Red Sox season was the 68th season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished fourth in the American League (AL) with a record of 86 wins and 76 losses, 17 games behind the AL and World Series champion Detroit Tigers.

1974 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting

Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 1974 followed the system in place since 1971.

The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voted by mail to select from recent major league players and

elected two, Whitey Ford and Mickey Mantle.

The Veterans Committee met in closed sessions to consider executives, managers, umpires, and earlier major league players.

It selected three people: Jim Bottomley, Jocko Conlan, and Sam Thompson.

The Negro Leagues Committee also met in person and selected Cool Papa Bell.

1982 Cincinnati Reds season

The Cincinnati Reds' 1982 season was a season in American baseball. It consisted of the Reds finishing in sixth place in the National League West, with a record of 61-101, 28 games behind of the Atlanta Braves. The Reds played their home games at Riverfront Stadium. John McNamara managed the club to a 34-58 start before being replaced in late-July by Russ Nixon, who compiled a 27-43 record the rest of the year. 1982 was the first time that the Reds finished in last place since 1937, as well as their first losing season since 1971, the team's first full season at Riverfront. It was also the 1st and as of 2018, the only 100 loss season in franchise history.

1983 Cincinnati Reds season

The Cincinnati Reds' 1983 season was a season in American baseball. It consisted of the Cincinnati Reds attempting to win the National League West. It was Johnny Bench's last season as a Red.

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.

1989 Atlanta Braves season

The 1989 Atlanta Braves season was the 119th in franchise history and their 24th in Atlanta.

1990 Atlanta Braves season

The 1990 Atlanta Braves season was the team's 25th season in Atlanta, the 115th in franchise history as a member of the National League and the 120th season overall. The Braves went 65–97, en route to their sixth-place finish in the NL West, 26 games behind the World Champion Cincinnati Reds, and ending up with the worst record that year. On June 23, Bobby Cox replaced Russ Nixon as the team's manager, a job Cox would hold for the next two decades.

Chuck Schilling

Charles Thomas Schilling (born October 25, 1937) is an American former professional baseball player, a second baseman in Major League Baseball for the Boston Red Sox (1961–65). A 1963 graduate of Manhattan College, he threw and batted right-handed, stood 5 feet 11 inches (1.80 m) tall and weighed 170 pounds (77 kg).

After playing for Boston's Triple-A Minneapolis Millers farm team in 1960, Schilling broke into the Major Leagues in 1961, the same year as his friend and fellow Long Islander, eventual Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski. A slick fielder, his arrival prompted the Red Sox to move the incumbent American League batting champion, Pete Runnels, from second base to first baseman and utility infielder. Schilling appeared in 158 games as a rookie, setting career highs in batting average (.259), hits (167), runs scored (87) and runs batted in (RBI) (62). He committed eight errors in 846 chances for a league-best fielding percentage of .991. He won the Red Sox' Most Valuable Player (now the Thomas A. Yawkey) Award for 1961 as bestowed by the Boston chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.In 1962, Schilling's sophomore season, he suffered a wrist injury causing him to miss over 40 games and impairing his batting ability for the rest of his career. Although he hit a personal-best seven home runs in 1962, he batted only .230 and would never again hit over .240. He was still the Red Sox' regular second baseman in 1963, but hit .234 in 143 games and lost his regular job to Felix Mantilla and Dalton Jones in 1964, both good hitters but mediocre-at-best fielders.

By the start of the 1966 campaign, Schilling had become a utility player. During spring training, he was traded to the Minnesota Twins with catcher Russ Nixon for left-handed pitcher Dick Stigman. Schilling began the season on the Twins' 28-man roster, but never played a game for manager Sam Mele and retired just before the rosters were cut to 25 on May 15 rather than accept a minor league assignment.

During his five-season career, Schilling batted .239 in 541 games played, with 470 hits, 76 doubles, five triples, 23 home runs and 146 runs batted in.

In retirement, he returned to Long Island to teach secondary-school mathematics and play competitive softball until he was 69.

Ed Sadowski

Edward Roman Sadowski (January 19, 1931 – November 6, 1993) was a catcher in Major League Baseball who played from 1960 through 1966 for the Boston Red Sox (1960), Los Angeles Angels (1961–1963) and Atlanta Braves (1966). Sadowski batted and threw right-handed. He debuted on April 20, 1960 and played his final game on October 2, 1966. He was the brother of Bob Sadowski and Ted Sadowski, and uncle of Jim Sadowski. All were pitchers who played in the Major Leagues.

Coming from a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania baseball family, Sadowski was a valuable backup catcher for Russ Nixon in Boston, Earl Averill and Buck Rodgers with the original Angels, and Joe Torre in Atlanta. In 1963 he appeared in a career-high 80 games and collected four home runs with 24 runs and 15 RBI, also career-numbers.

In a five-season career, Sadowski was a .202 hitter with 12 home runs and 39 RBI in 217 games.

He was the last Red Sox player to wear uniform No. 8 before it was issued in 1961 to eventual Baseball Hall of Fame outfielder Carl Yastrzemski. The number was retired in 1989.

Following his playing career, Sadowski served as a minor league manager and pitching instructor for the Montreal Expos. He retired from baseball in 1970, becoming a physical education teacher in California. He died in Garden Grove at age 62, after suffering amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), commonly called Lou Gehrig's disease.

Keokuk Indians

After baseball began in Keokuk, Iowa in 1875, the Keokuk Indians was the primary nickname of Keokuk minor league baseball teams. After the Indians (1904–1915, 1929–1933, 1935), Keokuk was home of the Keokuk Pirates (1947–1949), Keokuk Kernels (1952–1957), Keokuk Cardinals (1958–1961) and the Keokuk Dodgers (1962). Notable Keokuk alumni include Bud Fowler, Roger Maris and Tim McCarver.

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