Kid Nichols 1869-1953
Boston Beaneaters 1890-1901
St. Louis Cardinals 1904-1905
Philadelphia Phillies 1905-1906
Real Name: Charles Augustus Nichols
Career WAR: 116.6
Best Season: 1890 27-19 2.23 ERA 2.98 FIP 1.146 WHIP 222 K 7 ShO 170 ERA+ 13.1 WAR
“In my day, the ’90s, if you won only 20 games, the club owner would say ‘You didn’t do so good this year, we’re going to cut your salary next season.”
Known For: Was the winning pitcher in 300 baseball games by the time he turned 30. Finished his career with 360 pitching wins. He completed 532 of the 562 games he started. Was a star from his rookie season, when the 20-year old may have had his best season. Relied primarily on the fastball.
The Bad: Was often mistaken for the bat boy in his first few major league seasons because he looked so young. This is also how he got his nickname.
Ty Cobb Stumped For Him: The deadball star may be one of the main reasons that Nichols finally got his due with induction into the real Hall of Fame. JoePos explains:
Cobb did not face Nichols’ best — their careers barely overlapped — but in the 1940s Cobb would rant to anyone who would listen about Nichols greatness.
“You’re a bit too young to remember,” Cobb told one reporter in 1948 — this was a pitch he repeated often, “but I knew a pitcher who was a real pitcher. His name was Kid Nichols. He was with the Boston Nationals early in the century.”
And then, as proof, he would pull out Kid Nichols statistics that he carried around with him. Yeah, he walked around with Kid Nichols’ stats. This was a committed man.
“How can they possibly keep Kid Nichols out of the Hall of Fame?” he asked.
Laying the Groundwork: Nichols, in a precurser to MLB At Bat, held a patent on an electronic scoreboard system that he developed around 1907. It was a way to deliver baseball to fans not at the ballpark in the pre-radio era, and it is said that he would have crowds of a couple thousand gathered to watch the World Series.
Not Just Baseball: Kid was also fond of bowling. He was good at that too. Nichols won the Kansas City bowling championship at the age of 63.
“Kid Nichols is an obvious yes.” – AMR