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Why I always liked Graig Nettles

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  • Why I always liked Graig Nettles

    In his prime he was as good defensively as anyone and better offensively then most. On a team of egos he was a low key clutch performer at bat at in the field His defensive gems in thw World Series , while not as flashy as Brooks( golly Lee May must have been slow!) were brilliant and decisive. My favorite reason ( nope not the spaceman incident) was when he was obviously past his prime he signed with the Spos. A reporter got all righteous and asked him " Aren't you tarnishing your legacy?" Puff laughed out loud and said" Pal the Big League minimum is 200 grand. You where else I can pick that up?"... I gotta figure he was and is a good guy to hoist one or two with.

  • #2
    My favorite Nettles story was when he was facing Mark "The Bird" Fidrych. As most of you know, Fidrych would talk to the ball. When Nettles came up to face him, Nettles spoke to his bat, "Now you don't listen to that ball. You send that ball into the upper deck, ok." After Nettles made an out he retorted, "The bat is Japanese, it doesn't understand English".

    I think I read this story on new Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract. I'll pull it out and look for the story.
    Last edited by Honus Wagner Rules; 02-01-2006, 09:45 AM.
    Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

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    • #3
      LOL!!

      That's a great story HWR...somehow I missed that one in all of my reading of James.

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      • #4
        He also greeted reigning Cy Young award winner Sparky Lyle with the news of Gosse Gossages arrival with " hey Spark, you just went from the penthouse to the outhouse "

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        • #5
          From an ESPN story:

          "On Sept. 7, 1974, the Yankees' Graig Nettles hit a home run against the Detroit Tigers. The next time up, he hit a broken-bat single. Tigers catcher Bill Freehan scrambled for the six superballs that came bouncing out. "I didn't know there was anything wrong with the bat," Nettles said after the game. "That was the first time I used it. Some Yankees fan in Chicago gave it to me and said it would bring me good luck. There's no brand name on it or anything. Maybe the guy made it himself. It had been in the bat rack, and I picked it up by mistake, because it looked like the bat I had been using the last few days." Nettles was called out on the single, but his solo homer was allowed and the made all the difference as the Yankees won 1-0."

          Nice explanation

          http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2...heaters/050810

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          • #6
            Balls is one of the more entertaining baseball autobiographies out there.
            Dave Bill Tom George Mark Bob Ernie Soupy Dick Alex Sparky
            Joe Gary MCA Emanuel Sonny Dave Earl Stan
            Jonathan Neil Roger Anthony Ray Thomas Art Don
            Gates Philip John Warrior Rik Casey Tony Horace
            Robin Bill Ernie JEDI

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            • #7
              Thanks I'm going to look for Balls , well you know what I mean

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Lindseynelson
                He also greeted reigning Cy Young award winner Sparky Lyle with the news of Gosse Gossages arrival with " hey Spark, you just went from the penthouse to the outhouse "
                He also made the comment the very next year when Lyle was traded that "he went from Cy Young to sayonara!"

                He was my idol as well growing up in Queens in the 70's.....still wear #9 to this day.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Captain Cold Nose
                  Balls is one of the more entertaining baseball autobiographies out there.
                  Nettles does relate some funny stories, but the book is not well constructed and put together. Definitely not one of Pete Golenbock's better efforts. I think the project was slapped together sometime during the 1983 season to take advantage of the fact that Billy Martin was managing the Yankees again and that this would lead to some juicy tell-all stories involving George Steinbrenner.

                  My favorite part about the book was some of his memories of Thurman Munson. Nettles remembered that as the bus carrying the Yankee team was leaving the cemetary where Thurman was buried, somebody spotted a Burger King restaurant nearby. Some of Thurman's friends smiled, as they recalled that Thurman loved to eat cheeseburgers. He was buried in the perfect place.
                  Last edited by Redondos; 02-10-2006, 11:20 AM.

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                  • #10
                    [QUOTE=FatAngel]From an ESPN story:

                    "On Sept. 7, 1974, the Yankees' Graig Nettles hit a home run against the Detroit Tigers. The next time up, he hit a broken-bat single. Tigers catcher Bill Freehan scrambled for the six superballs that came bouncing out. "I didn't know there was anything wrong with the bat," Nettles said after the game. "That was the first time I used it. Some Yankees fan in Chicago gave it to me and said it would bring me good luck. There's no brand name on it or anything. Maybe the guy made it himself. It had been in the bat rack, and I picked it up by mistake, because it looked like the bat I had been using the last few days." Nettles was called out on the single, but his solo homer was allowed and the made all the difference as the Yankees won 1-0."

                    Makes me wonder why Sammy Sosa gets criticized so much but you barely hear about this incident.

                    I personally bought Sammy's explanation more than I'd but Graig's.

                    Yankees Fan Since 1957

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                    • #11
                      I remember seeing a very young Graig Nettles when he was a farmhand of the Twins back in 1968, playing for the Denver Bears. Nettles was bouncing between 3rd, 1st and the outfield with Denver, under manager Billy Martin. The Twins had Killebrew at first, moving back to third the following season, with Rich Reese taking over at 1st. I guess they wanted Graig to be able to play a few positions when he got the callup.

                      Towards the end of that season, the Twins called Graig up, along with Pat Kelly, Bob Oliver and a couple of other guys. Graig went on to hit five homeruns in 22 games during his late season callup. The Twins called him up the next year and used him as a part-timer. They made the mistake of trading him to Cleveland (along with Ted Uhlaender, Bob Miller and Dean Chance) the following year for Luis Tiant (who was having arm miseries at the time) and Stan Williams (who would give the Twins one good year, then after that, didn't have a lot left).

                      The Twins had Graig's brother, Jim Nettles in their farm system too. But Jim never went too far with his big league career.

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                      • #12
                        Nettles was the best wise guy in baseball the last 30 years

                        I recall his smacks on Jackson...hilarious

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                        • #13
                          all that and a bag of chips

                          Back in his day I use to be a huge Dodger fan and recall how it seemed that Nettles would just eviserate LA with his defensive stops. Reggie J's bat and Nettles glove. Crap.
                          Prior to going to the Yanks, Nettles was a Cleveland Indian during a time when it wasn't too much fun. I recall the book 'Balls' discussing a bit on that.
                          Johnny
                          Delusion, Life's Coping Mechanism

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