Matthew Dodge Nokes
- Bats Left, Throws Right
- Height 6' 1", Weight 185 lb.
- High School Patrick Henry High School (San Diego)
- Debut September 3, 1985
- Final Game September 27, 1995
- Born October 31, 1963 in San Diego, CA USA
Catcher Matt Nokes burst onto the major league scene with a great rookie season for the Detroit Tigers in 1987, hitting 32 homers and driving in 87 runs while hitting .289 in 135 games. He helped the Tigers to a division title, was named to the 1987 Topps All-Star Rookie Team and played in the postseason for the only time of his career, going 2 for 14 with a homer as the Tigers lost to the Minnesota Twins in the 1987 ALCS. He had earlier had cups of coffee with the San Francisco Giants in 1985, when he hit .208 in 19 games, and with the Tigers in 1986, hitting .333 in 7 games. The Tigers had acquired him as part of a six-player trade on October 7, 1985, when he and Ps Eric King and Dave LaPoint headed to Detroit in return for C Bob Melvin and Ps Juan Berenguer and Scott Medvin.
Matt was never able to reproduce the production from his rookie season, however. He was still a solid hitter in 1988, batting .251 with 16 homers and 53 RBIs in 122 games, as hitting numbers fell significantly across the major leagues. In 1989, he hit .250 with 9 homers and 39 RBIs in 87 games as there was growing concern that his defensive play was not up to par for a catcher. He saw increasing time at DH, and midway through the 1990 season, he was traded to the New York Yankees in return for Ps Lance McCullers and Clay Parker. He had hit .270 in 44 games for Detroit, but fell to .238 in 92 games for the Yankees. Still, he continued to show decent power, and in both 1991 and 1992 topped the 20-homer mark for New York, with 24 and 22 respectively, at a time when home runs were harder to come by. He was back to catching full-time by then and was one of the better players on some pretty weak Yankees teams. In 1993, he played just 76 games but still hit 10 homers with 35 RBIs. In 1994, when the Yankees were the best team in the American League before the strike shut down the season, he hit 7 homers and drove in 19 runs in just 28 games, while batting .291 and slugging . 595. He left the team after the season, signing a free agent contract with the Baltimore Orioles, but hit just .122 in 27 games in 1995; he was released and given a look by the Colorado Rockies, but batted .182 in 10 games, ending his career as he was not added to their postseason roster.
Following his playing career, he was a minor league coach and manager in the independent leagues.
- 2001 player/coach Schaumburg Flyers
- 2002-2003 Manager Joliet JackHammers
- 2009 Pitching coach Lincoln Salt Dogs
- 2010 Coach Potomac Nationals
- 1987 Topps All-Star Rookie Team
- AL All-Star (1987)
- AL Silver Slugger Award Winner (1987)
- 20-Home Run Seasons: 3 (1987, 1991 & 1992)
- 30-Home Run Seasons: 1 (1987)
Year-By-Year Minor League Managerial Record
|2002||Joliet JackHammers||Northern League||53-38||3rd||Independent Leagues||Lost in 1st round|
|2003||Joliet JackHammers||Northern League||40-48||7th||Independent Leagues|