- OF, P, 1B
- September 14, 1869
- 5' 10"
- 175 lbs
- Major League Debut:
- 4-23-1890 with BSN
- Hall of Fame:
Quotes From Kid Nichols
"In my day, the Nineties, if you won only twenty games the club owner would say 'You didn't do so good this year, we're going to cut your salary next season.'"
Teams Kid Nichols Managed
St. Louis Cardinals (1904-1905)
Where does Kid Nichols rank among baseball greats?
Kid Nichols ranks among the Top 50 all-time at SP. Rankings ?
Best Season: 1898
Nichols posted a 31-12 record, completing 40 of his 42 starts, and spinning five shutouts. He walked just 85 batters in 388 innings, allowing 316 hits. His 2.13 ERA was the second-lowest of his career.
Counting the Gate
Long after he had retired, Nichols recalled what it was like for pitchers in 19thc entury baseball: "Pitching wasn't the only job pitchers had in the Nineties. The day after we had pitched a game it was our duty to stand at the gate, and afterwards to count the tickets. I remember counting 30,000 tickets one day at the Polo Grounds in New York. That was a tougher assignment than pitching a ull nine innings."
The More Things Change…
It's common today for fans of the game and former players criticize the attitude of the modern ballplayer. But file that under the more things change, the more they stay the same. Here's a quote from a former big league pitcher: "Players have a different philosophy toward the game of baseball. They want to make a lot of money and retire… We played for the love of the game; there were few holdouts. We wanted to pitch every day; to win more games than the other guy - not for the money, but for the glory of winning. It's different today." Who said those words? A star pitcher from the pre-free agent years? How about Bob Feller, that guardian of the game's golden age? No on both counts. That quote is from Kid Nichols, who That quote is from Kid Nichols, who pitched his last game in 1906, and enjoyed his prime years in the Nineties - the 1890s. Nichols made that statement in 1947 about the "modern" ballplayers of the post-war years. pitched his last game in 1906, and enjoyed his prime years in the Nineties - the 1890s. Nichols made that statement in 1947 about the "modern" ballplayers of the post-war years.
Where He Played
Starting pitcher: Nichols failed to earn a decision in just 20 games he started in his entire career.
As a Manager
One of the quaint practices of the 19th century was that a pitcher would be assigned the duty of handling the gate for road games he wasn’t starting. The pitcher would watch the gates, count the tickets, and ensure that his team received the proper share of receipts. Nichols, like other pitchers, had performed this duty for years in the 1890s. But, as player/manager for the Cardinals in 1905, he was asked to perform this duty by team ownership for home games. Nichols refused, which helped lead to his dismissal early in the season.
He earned the name “Nervy Nick” (for his ice-cold nerves) after defeating Baltimore twice late in the 1897 season to wrap up the pennant.
Nichols was 2-0 with a 1.00 ERA in three starts against the Cleveland Spiders in the Championship Series. In Game One, he battled Cy Young to an 11-inning scoreless tie.
- July 7, 1900: 300th Win...
Best Strength as a Player
His throwing arm, which was one of the strongest of his time. He never really developed an off-speed pitch, relying on his fastball throughout his 15-year career. Nichols was also a competent hitter, and hit 16 homers in his career.
Largest Weakness as a Player
- 1949 Hall of Fame, 300 wins, Amos Rusie, Baseball History, Boston Braves, Kid Nichols, Polo Grounds, St. Louis Cardinals, Western Association