Saturday, November 17, 2007

Nuxhall of Fame

Joe Nuxhall passed away Thursday. He was most famous to baseball fans for his first appearance in a major league game: he was in ninth grade and 15 years old in 1944 when he came in to pitch for the Reds in the ninth inning of a game Cincinnati was already losing to the Cardinals 13-0. He got two outs but walked five and gave up five runs on two hits, including one to Stan Musial. He made it it back to the majors 8 seasons later.

After the pitched-at-15-years-old thing, Nuxhall is probably next most famous as a long, long-time Reds announcer, from the mid-60s until just recently. But sometimes forgotten is that he was a fine pitcher who had a long and productive major league career. His 135 -117 career won-loss record with a 101 career ERA+ gives him some very comparable numbers to, for example, Ron Darling's 136W-116L, 95 ERA+ career. Like Nuxhall, Darling also became famous when he was still in school (in a College World Series game in 1981 Darling pitching 11 innings of no-hit ball against Frank Viola, before losing on a bloop single, an error and a steal of home in the twelfth) and Ron has himself become a very well-respected announcer.

Most Wins By a Reds Pitcher Since World War II:
1. Jim Maloney 134
2. Joe Nuxhall 130
3. Tom Browning 123
4. Gary Nolan 110
5. Bob Purkey 103
6. Mario Soto 100
7. Jose Rijo 97
8. Jim O'Toole 94
9. Don Gullett 91
10. Ken Raffensberger 89

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