Chet Nichols (nichoch02)
Chester Raymond Nichols Jr.
- Bats Both, Throws Left
- Height 6' 1½", Weight 195 lb.
- High School East High School (Pawtucket)
- Debut April 19, 1951
- Final Game April 24, 1964
- Born February 22, 1931 in Pawtucket, RI USA
- Died March 27, 1995 in Lincoln, RI USA
Chet Nichols Jr., who played nine seasons in the majors, won the ERA championship as a rookie. He was the son of former major league pitcher Chet Nichols Sr. (1926-1932).
He was signed as an amateur free agent before the 1949 season. The lefthander started his baseball career with the Evansville Braves of the class B Three-I League and rang up a 14-7 record with a 2.32 ERA while pitching 198 innings in his first year in the pros.
Up with the AAA Milwaukee Brewers in 1950, the going was a little rougher, and Chet had a 7-14 record with a 3.73 ERA. He still got a chance to pitch in the majors with the Boston Braves in 1951 and was second in the balloting for the 1951 National League Rookie of the Year Award after going 11-8 with a league-leading 2.88 ERA for the season.
Chet suffered a shoulder injury while serving two years (1952-1953) in the United States military during the Korean War, setting back his mound career. He did win nine games for the transplanted Braves, now in Milwaukee, in both 1954 and 1955, but spent most of the late 1950s in the minor leagues.
After winning 18 games for the Vancouver Mounties of the Pacific Coast League in 1960, he was back in the majors with the Boston Red Sox from 1960 to 1963 and closed out his major league run with the Cincinnati Reds in 1964 with a 34-36 career record and a 3.64 ERA while appearing in 189 games. Nichols had spent six active seasons in the minors and ended his time there with a 56-45 record and a 3.37 ERA.
Nichols returned to his home state of Rhode Island and was in the banking business, retiring as a vice-president in 1987. He then returned to baseball as a minor league pitching instructor for the Boston Red Sox and later for the Baltimore Orioles. He was pitching coach of the Bluefield Orioles in 1989 and Wausau Timbers in 1990. Nichols passed away on March 27, 1995, at age 64 in Lincoln, RI.
- NL ERA Leader (1951)