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Don Nichols (minors01)

From BR Bullpen

Donald Eugene Nichols

BR Minors page

Biographical Information[edit]

Pitcher Don Nichols played in the minor leagues from 1956 to 1959, all in the New York Yankees organization, briefly reaching the AA level. He was a starter his first year with the Modesto Reds of the California League in 1956, going 12-14, 3.86 in 40 games including 28 starts, and pitching 247 innings. He moved to the bullpen full-time after that.

Nichols' 1957 season with the Peoria Chiefs of the Three-I League and the Binghamton Triplets of the Eastern League was one of the most memorable ones ever put together by a reliever. In 44 appearances out of the bullpen in Peoria, he put up a record of 20-3 with an ERA of 2.09. He received significant publicity when he recorded his 20th win on August 11th as he is considered the first pitcher to ever win 20 games in relief in one season in the minor leagues (this has never been accomplished in the major leagues). Following that win, he was promoted to Binghamton where he finihed the season by picking up a couple more wins in 4 games, finishing at 22-3. While his record was exceptional, his numbers overall were not: he gave up 107 hits in 138 innings for Peoria - a good but not exceptional rate - walking 51 and striking out 89. He simply appears to have been exceptionally lucky that season.

He played two more season in the minors after that, going 4-7, 3.91 for Binghamton in 1958 before a late-season promotion to the New Orleans Pelicans of the Southern Association, where he had no decisions in 6 games. In 1959, he was 3-2 in 13 games for Binghamton, and also 3-2, in 33 games, with a 4.60 ERA, for the Greensboro Yankees of the Carolina League. He retired after that. Some part of his statistical record is missing, including most stats for his brief stays in Binghamton in 1957 and 1959, and New Orleans in 1958.

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