Some of the Top Cards of 1976

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

1976 Topps #535 - Dave Nelson

  • Dave Nelson played in the majors from 1968-1977. Nelson was signed by the Cleveland Indians in 1964. Dave spent four seasons (1964-1967) in the minors before making the Cleveland ballclub in 1968.
  • Nelson backed up at 2B and SS in 1968 and batted .233 with 23 stolen bases in 88 games. Dave backed up at 2B and in the outfield in 1969 and batted .203 in 52 games. 
  • After the 1969 season Nelson was traded (with Ron Law and Horatio Pina) to the Washington Senators for Dennis Higgins and Barry Moore.
  • Dave started the 1970 season with the Senators but was sent to the minors in early June. Nelson came back to the Senators when the rosters expanded in September. Dave batted .159 in 47 games for the Senators in 1970.
  • Nelson started the 1971 season in the minors and was brought up in  mid-June. Dave batted .280 in 85 games as a backup 3B and 2B.
  • Dave became the starting third baseman for the Texas Rangers (nee Washington Senators) in 1972. He batted .226 in 145 games with little power. Nelson did show his speed on the bases -- he stole 51 bases and led the AL with 17 times caught stealing.
  • Nelson moved over to start at 2B in 1973. He made the AL All Star team (he played late in the game as a defensive replacement) and it was his best season. Dave batted .286 with 24 doubles and 7 HR in 142 games and also stole 43 bases.
  • Dave started at 2B for the Rangers in 1974 but his offense dropped off. Nelson batted .236 with 25 stolen bases in 121 games in 1974. 
  • Nelson had a rough 1975 season. He and Yankee manager Bill Virdon exchanged words after Nelson was hit by a pitch during a spring training game and it escalated into a benches-clearing brawl. Dave was injured and missed almost four months of the 1975 season. Nelson batted .213 in 28 games in 1975.
  • After the 1975 season Dave was traded to the Kansas City Royals for Nelson Briles. Dave shared time with Cookie Rojas and young Frank White at second base and played occasionally at DH. Nelson batted .235 with 15 stolen bases in 78 games during the regular season. Dave made one pinch hitting appearance in the ALCS (he grounded out against Sparky Lyle in game 3).
  • Nelson was a bench player in 1977 and batted .188 in 27 games. Dave was released at the end of spring training in 1978.
  • Dave coached at Texas Christian University in 1980 and then coached with the Chicago White Sox from 1981-1984. Nelson then worked for the Oakland A's as a director of minor league instruction (1986-1987) and for the Montreal Expos as a minor league baserunning instructor (1990-1991). He also coached with the Cleveland Indians (1992-1997) and with the Milwaukee Brewers (2001-2006). 
  • Nelson did some radio announcing with the Chicago Cubs in 1988 and 1989 and with the Indians in 1998 and 1999. Dave is now an analyst for the Milwaukee Brewers on FSN Wisconsin. He also is the Brewers' director of alumni relations and sits on the board of directors for Open Arms Home for Children (provides homes for children affected by South Africa's AIDS pandemic).
  • Liked to face: Eddie Fisher (.545 in 11 AB); Tom Bradley (.471 in 17 AB); Milt Wilcox (.438 in 16 AB)
  • Hated to face: Ray Lamb (.000 in 10 AB); Joe Decker (.095 in 21 AB); Dick Woodson (.120 in 25 AB). 

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