Monday, August 29, 2022

The Whiff Master - Dave Nicholson


TRIVIA WINNER: Congrats to Augusto Medina of Arecibo, PR, who knew that Phil Niekro had more 10-plus losing seasons than Brother Joe. The Prize: Starbucks Gift Card.

NEW TRIVIA CONTEST:  By answering the TRIVIA QUESTION CORRECTLY you are automatically entered into a weekly drawing for a Starbucks Gift Card.  YOU MUST ENTER VIA THE EMAIL AT THE END OF THIS COLUMN. Don't forget to put your mailing address in with the answer so if you win we can send you the gift card in the mail.

ANSWER to the Trivia question in the previous column: Phil Niekro had more 10-game losing seasons than Brother Joe.

EDS NOTE; Since we are trying to expand our mailing list and readership we want to build our mailing list. Readers on our email list receive the column each Monday directly into their mailbox. Please help us out by sending your email to We DO NOT SELL your emails.

Just a note to add; If you look at the top right hand corner of the side bar you will see a link to daily sports scores. We made an agreement with Baseball 24 in a mutual sharing situation. Hope its helpful to fans of several sports.

NEW TRIVIA QUESTION:   While Dave Nicholson led the 1963 White Sox in strike-outs with 175, which starting player had the least strike-outs on that team?

It's not often a player who misses the ball about half the time sticks around for more than a couple years in the big leagues, but then again there was Dave Nicholson. Nicholson might have fit right in, in today's free swinging-home runs-at any cost atmosphere. In the 1960's though, Nicholson was a rather strange player.

In 1419 major league at-bats, he struck out 573 times. It was an amazing 40 percent of the time he came to the plate and walked away without hitting the ball fair. When you consider the fact he only walked 219 times, the whiffs were problematic. He was a slugger but never really achieved slugger status.

The height of Nicholson's ineptness came with the White Sox in 1963. It was his best overall year. He did hit 22 dingers, but only managed to eke out a .229 batting average. The mess started with his coming to the plate 520 time but with only 449 official at bats. In those 449 at bats he struck out 175 to lead the AL!

He did have 123 hits and drove in 70 runs. Imagine if he'd only struck out half as many times, how many runs he could have driven in. The Sox were a pretty good team in 1963 and deserved better. They finished second with 94 wins. 

The following season Nicholson saw his playing time reduced and only batted 351 times but still managed to strike out 126 times while seeing his average dip to .204. It seemed the Sox had seen enough of him but couldn't really find any takers. 
In 1965 he struck out 40 times in 85 at bats and that was the end of that. He was traded to Houston in a minor deal and improved on all his statistics after moving to the National League. He did bat 280 times with 10 homers, a .246 BA and only 92 strike outs in an Astro's uniform before being shipped off again. This time to Atlanta where he played in only 10 games before his career ended for good.

Swinging Dave Nicholson finished his career with a lifetime .212 BA and 61 home runs to go along with his 573 punch outs. In 568 major league games he averaged more than one "K" per game.

TRIVIA CONTEST; After reading this column you can enter the weekly trivia contest for a chance to win a Starbucks Gift Card. Enter via the following email. Send 1) your answer to the trivia question at the top of the column, 2) your name, address and email so where we know where to send the card if you win 3) any comment you have on the column. One winner will be selected at random each week based on correct answers with the odds being based on the number of correct entries.  Please cut and paste or enter the following email into your email system.
I've written more than a dozen books including at least two sports books. You can find these at my Amazon page or at my own website Please take a look at the sports books, the western novel series or the "Tattoo Murder," which is a crime book set in Ventura, CA.

Use PayPal to or contact us at the same email for other payment. 

Thank you to those of you who purchased my books after reading this column.

No comments:

Post a Comment