Gary Nilsson

From BR Bullpen

Gary Nilsson

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 1", Weight 205 lb.

Gary Nilsson was the first Nilsson brother to play in the minors, though he did not reach the success of either Dave Nilsson or Bob Nilsson back in Australia. He had far more success than the 4th brother, Ron Nilsson. His nephew Jay Nilsson also played in the minors. His son Mitch Nilsson played for the Australian junior national team in 2008.

Gary Nilsson was signed by the Detroit Tigers in 1983. The next year, he was 1-4 with a 5.95 ERA for the Lakeland Tigers, striking out only 16 in 39 1/3 innings while walking 21 and allowing 46 hits. One positive was that he completed four of six starts.

When the Australian Baseball League was founded, the right-hander was picked up by the Gold Coast Cougars. He hit .289/.352/.378 as a first baseman in the 1989-1990 ABL, second on the team to Bob Nilsson. In 1990-1991, the 27-year-old was 6-1 with one save and a 5.96 ERA for the Daikyo Dolphins. A year later, Gary had a 5-4, 4.62 record for Daikyo, threw a one-hitter, walked 25 in 76 innings and won a playoff game as the Dolphins took the title.

In 1992-1993, Nilsson was 3-0 with a 2.50 ERA for the Brisbane Bandits, battling injuries. In 1993-1994, Gary had a 2-2, 2.42 record. He helped Brisbane win the title, picking up the decision in the final game of the year; that season, his catcher was his more famous brother Dave.

Nilsson was 0-4 with four saves and a 5.06 ERA in the 1994-1995 Australian Baseball League but did join with Kelly Wunsch and Cam Cairncross on a combined no-hitter one game. Injuries ended his career after a 1-3, 6.35 campaign in 1995-1996. He had gone 17-14 with 5 saves and a 4.57 ERA in 56 games in the Australian Baseball League.

Sources: 1985 Baseball Guide, Flintoff & Dunn Australian Baseball Almanac