Orioles Card "O" the Day

An intersection of two of my passions: baseball cards and the Baltimore Orioles. Updated daily?

Friday, September 25, 2015

Vintage Fridays: Dave Nicholson, 1961 Topps #182

I know what you're thinking, but Topps didn't give the Orioles' bat boy a card. Dave Nicholson was 20 years old when he debuted for the Orioles in May of 1960. Two years earlier, they'd signed him as a teenager for a whopping $100,000 bonus. He led the Class C Northern League with 35 home runs in 1959 while playing for the Aberdeen Pheasants. That early success didn't carry over to the big leagues, though. In his first taste of the majors, Dave struck out 55 times in 113 at-bats. "Big Nick" played only 151 games for the O's over two seasons, batting .178/.296/.357 with 14 homers and 26 RBI. Baltimore traded him to the White Sox in January, 1963 as part of the Luis Aparicio deal.

His first season in the Windy City was his best, as he played 126 games and batted .229 with 22 home runs and 70 RBI...and a then-record 175 strikeouts in 520 at-bats. The following year, he made his mark in a May 6 doubleheader at Comiskey Park against the Athletics. Facing future Oriole Moe Drabowsky, Nicholson hit a pair of home runs. His solo shot leading off the bottom of the fifth inning traveled 573 feet, one of the longest measured blasts in history, and either struck or cleared the left field roof and was later located across the street. For good measure, Dave added a third home run off of Aurelio Monteagudo in the nightcap.

Unfortunately, Dave didn't make contact frequently enough to stick in the majors. His career ended with a 10-game swing with the Braves in 1967, when he was just 27 years old. Be that as it may, the dude hit a baseball 573 feet. I have a hard time even picturing that.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow, 573 ft... It seems like the no-names do everything spectacular, just like with Ishikawa in the world series last year, Boone in 2001, and a dozen other times in this century. I'm looking forward to reading more of your content!