Monday, January 11, 2010

131 -- Jim Nettles

Jim Nettles

Wilton Guerrero. Tommie Aaron. Paul Reuschel. Vince DiMiggio. Rich Murray. Hector Cruz. Jim Nettles fits into a category with these guys. They were all the ball-playing brother of an All-Star, some even got to have Hall of Famers as brothers (although none were able to parlay that into as much fame as Billy Ripken). Jim had the blessing of following Graig through high school in San Diego and then to San Diego State.

So, by the time college is over, and Graig is 3 years ahead of Jim, that's the end, right? Nope. Graig is drafted in the 4th round by the Twins in 1965 and in 1968 the Twins take Jim in the 4th round. Graig was traded to Cleveland by the time the Twins brought Jim up in 1970.

Like Wilton, Tommie, Paul, Rich and Hector, Jim Nettles didn't have much of a career. He played with the Twins in 1971-72, primarily off the bench, and was then traded to the Tigers. After a partial season with the Tigers in 1974, he bounced around AAA, Mexico and Japan, getting 23 at bats with the Royals and A's in 1979 and 1981. He had a 9 year managerial career in the minors, ending with a 39-101 record with Bakersfield in 1996.

He did hit homers off Catfish Hunter and Gaylord Perry. One guy he hit really well was Joe Decker, who he got twice in 3 at bats against Decker on July 20, 1974 in Tiger Stadium. Jim had 16 career home runs, but 5 of them came in July 1971. His first 2 homers were in each game of a doubleheader against the Royals (the first a walkoff in the bottom of the 10th) and then he homered off Sonny Siebert, Stan Bahnsen and Fritz Peterson (an inside the parker) that month, all pretty good pitchers.

It's a pretty good picture on the card. Looks like one of the posed shots with the bat outstretched so it looks like the photographer snapped the picture mid-swing. It looks like a coach ambling towards the outfield to run drills. I can't figure out who it is. Any help would be appreciated.


  1. Dude, where've you been. I got way past worried. It is nice to have you and your blog back. I enjoy reading about my favorite set. (which is 97% complete going on 18 years now)

  2. Glad to have you back. Looking forward to reading more about this great set.

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  4. Picture looks like it was taken in Cocoa, FL, the then home of the Houston Astros spring training facility. A lot of cards were apparently taken there over the years...