Former major league outfielder Dave Nicholson passed away over the weekend (obituary via 97.3 FM WRUL in Carmi). He was 83 years old.
A St. Louis native, Nicholson signed with the Orioles as an 18-year-old in 1958. He spent a couple seasons in the minor leagues and reached the majors at age 20. He struggled over 54 games as a rookie and spent most of the following year in Double-A. Nicholson returned to the big leagues for 97 games with Baltimore in 1962. The ensuing offseason, he was involved in a massive trade that involved a pair of future Hall of Famers.
Baltimore traded the right-handed hitting Nicholson alongside two-time ERA champ Hoyt Wilhelm, third baseman Pete Ward and former Rookie of the Year Ron Hansen for three-time All-Star Al Smith and nine-time Gold Glove shortstop Luis Aparicio. Nicholson spent a couple seasons as Chicago’s primary left fielder. He and Ward tied for the team lead with 22 home runs in 1963. Nicholson ultimately compiled a .213/.314/.384 line in just under 1000 plate appearances for Chicago over parts of three seasons.
The Sox dealt him to the Astros over the 1965-66 offseason in a deal that sent reliever Jack Lamabe to Chicago. Nicholson played in exactly 100 games for Houston, hitting at a career-best .246/.356/.411 clip. The next offseason, he was involved in another trade for an all-time great nearing the end of his career: this time going to the Braves with pitcher Bob Bruce in a deal that sent Eddie Mathews to Houston. Nicholson spent most of the next two seasons in the upper levels of the Atlanta farm system, only appearing in 10 MLB games. After playing the 1969 campaign in Triple-A with the Royals, he retired at age 29.
Nicholson ultimately played in 538 major league games over parts of seven years in the 1960’s. He hit .212/.318/.381 with 61 homers, 179 runs batted in and 184 runs scored in a big league career that spanned four teams. MLBTR sends our condolences to Nicholson’s family, friends and loved ones.
Every day now it seems another player is listed here remember well who played. “swish” this time, who was fondly known as in his hey-day.
Condolences to his family and friends. Time runs short it seems the older we get.
You’re confusing Bill “Swish” Nicholson with Dave Nicholson. Swish played for the Cubs and passed away in 1996, he also had a much better career.
This Nicholson’s “Swish” was earned due to his strikeout abilities, he elevated strikeouts to an art form. RIP
Pretty cool to be involved in trades for Hall of Famers.
And great obituary. I learned quite a bit.
Joey gallo before Joey Gallo. RIP another former AtlBravo
Y he preceded Rib Deer and Dave Kingman.
Y he preceded Rob Deer and Dave Kingman.
As a 19 year old Dave hit 35 home runs in the minors.
He was the last out of Bo Belinsky’s no hitter
Me and brother are big Sox fans. My brother told me that Nicholson used to turn off the faucet in the shower so hard, no one could turn it on. They needed someone with a wrench just to open it. I was lucky enough to interview Dave. He was a little cranky at first. Who wouldn’t”t be when someone you don’t know has your phone number. After telling him I was a fan of him and all the Sox of that era, he was a delight to talk to. He humbly admitted that the story of the faucet was true. Awesome memory. Thanks for everything, Big Dave.
RIP Sir. Condolences and best wishes to your family and other loved-ones.
And again, thank you to MLBTR for making us aware of another great baseball player.
This one belongs to the Reds
I remember having his baseball cards.
Saw him hit a few left field roof jobs at Comiskey Park. Those were big time shots.
Fondly remember the great Bob Elson on WCFL describing one of Nicholson’s towering home runs – “Big Nick hit a popsicle!”
The “great” Bob Elson. He could put me to sleep on sleepless nights. A lot like Jack the Brickhouse
My father bought me a Wilson A2000 from Dave,’s Sporting Goods Store in Roselle,Illinois. Rest in peace.
When he hit the ball, It went a long way. R.I.P.. God I realized I just described Patrick Wisdom!
He should have gotten credit for two Homer’s for the distance some of them traveled
I just read where he hit a 500 foot shot off Moe Drabowsky in 1962 at Comiskey Park.Not many people can brag about that!
We also lost Sandy Valdespino last Sunday. Member of the A.L. Champion ’65 Twins.
Before they moved home plate up in the early 80s, the roof at old Comiskey Park had signs with the names of the players who had hit home runs over the roof. There were only 17 at the time, and Dave Nicolson was one of them… he shared that accomplishment with Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig (2), Ted Williams (2), Harmon Killebrew Dick Allen and a handful of others. Jimmy Foxx actually did it 6 times.
He also owned a sporting goods store on York Rd in Bensenville, where we would buy our bats for little league baseball.
I think Ron Kittle hit one or two also