Saturday, February 19, 2005

 

February 19th, 1935

Russ Nixon Born

Russ Nixon played parts of twelve seasons in the Majors as a catcher for the Indians, Red Sox and Twins and was most notable for a lousy sense of timing. He joined the Indians in 1957 three years after their 111 win season, and stayed with them until midway through the 1960 season when he was traded to the Red Sox. He stayed with the Sox through the 1965 season after which he was traded to the Twins. The Twins were coming off 102 wins and a World Series appearance, and would proceed to finish second the next two years, first to Baltimore and then in 1967 to Nixon's old team the Red Sox, having their "Impossible Dream" season. In April 1968 the Twins released Nixon and he signed on with the Red Sox, but the Impossible Dream was over and the team finished fourth. The Twins would spiral down to 7th place in 1968, but in 1969 (under Billy Martin) they would go to the first ever American League Championship Series.

Nixon went on to a mediocre managerial career (finishing with exactly a .400 winning percentage) but all of this, his playing career and time as a skipper has essentially been forgotten. Like many others, Russ Nixon has been reduced to a trivia answer: Who was the last man to manage the Braves before Bobby Cox?





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