Dave Nicholson Passes Away


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.

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