- Graig Nettles
Graig Nettles Third baseman Born: August 20, 1944
San Diego, California
Batted: Left Threw: Right MLB debut September 6, 1967 for the Minnesota Twins Last MLB appearance October 1, 1988 for the Montreal Expos Career statistics Batting average .248 Home runs 390 Runs batted in 1,314 Teams Career highlights and awards
Graig Nettles (born August 20, 1944 in San Diego, California), nicknamed "Puff", is a former Major League Baseball third baseman. During a 22-year baseball career, he played for the Minnesota Twins (1967–1969), Cleveland Indians (1970–1972), New York Yankees (1973–1983), San Diego Padres (1984–1986), Atlanta Braves (1987) and Montreal Expos (1988).
Nettles was one of the best defensive third basemen of all time, and despite his relatively low career batting average, he was an excellent offensive contributor, setting an American League record for career home runs by a third baseman. As a part of four pennant-winning Yankee teams, Nettles enjoyed his best season in 1977 when he won the Gold Glove Award and had career-highs in home runs (37) and runs batted in (107) in leading the Yankees to the World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
His unusual name derives from his mother's dislike of the names Greg and Craig - and her combining the two to produce 'Graig'. "My Dad was away at the war, so he didn't have any say". The name also led to confusion for baseball card companies; the error-prone inaugural 1981 Fleer baseball card set includes an error card where his name is spelled "Graig" on the front, and "Craig" on the back.
Nettles' most clutch performance came in the field, during Game 3 of the 1978 World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Yankee Stadium in back of the 25-game-winning left-handed pitcher Ron Guidry. With the Dodgers leading the series two games to none, Nettles made several plays at the hot corner to stop potential run-scoring hits, and helping the Yankees gain a key win in the series. New York went on to win the next three contests and clinch the world championship.
In his 22-season career, Nettles hit .248 with 390 home runs and 1,314 RBI in 2,700 games. He had a career fielding percentage of .964, exceptional for the hot corner (third base). After retiring at age 43, Nettles coached for the Yankees (1991) and Padres (1995).
On September 7, 1974, Nettles, then with the New York Yankees, was caught using a bat that had six superballs inside it. He said that he had received the bat from a Yankees fan in Chicago and did not know that the bat had been altered. 
On September 14, 1974, Nettles and his brother Jim homered in the same game, joining a select club that includes Bret and Aaron Boone, José and Héctor Cruz, Felipe and César Crespo, Al and Tony Cuccinello, Joe and Dom DiMaggio, and Rick and Wes Ferrell. The seven sets of brothers hit their homers playing for opposing teams.
During a brawl in a game against the Boston Red Sox in 1976, Nettles, who was on second base at the onset of the brawl, tackled Boston pitcher Bill Lee from behind. When it appeared that the dust had settled and the brawl was over, Lee confronted Nettles for tackling him from behind. The fracas resumed when Nettles swung at Lee. More players joined in the fray and Nettles broke Lee's collarbone when they went down in the pile. He was arguably never the same pitcher he was before the incident, though he continued to be a thorn in the Yankees' side for a few more years with Boston. However, the Yankees continued to win the division during this time and the incident added to the storied Yankees – Red Sox rivalry.
In the one game playoff in 1978 against the Red Sox at Fenway Park, a game best known for Bucky Dent's three-run home run in the seventh inning, Nettles caught Carl Yastrzemski's foul pop-up for the final out.
Nettles was involved in the infamous 1984 "San Diego Padres-Atlanta Braves Beanball Game," while playing for the Padres during a Braves home game on August 12, 1984. Nettles charged the mound, and attempted to tackle Braves relief pitcher Donnie Moore, after Moore intentionally beaned Nettles. Nettles missed and then was thrown to the ground by Braves first baseman Chris Chambliss.
On March 21, 2008 he announced that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer in late November 2007 and would undergo surgery at Manhattan's Sloan Kettering Hospital on April 8.
He regularly does commercials for Audi of Mendham in Mendham, New Jersey.
- The controversial book Balls (Putnam, 1984) is a memoir of Nettles's baseball career written in collaboration with Peter Golenbock, in which the player criticizes George Steinbrenner, the ostentatious Yankees owner, and some players as well. When the book's advance promotion came to Steinbrenner's attention in March 1984, Nettles was summarily traded to the San Diego Padres.
- Baseball writer Bill James noted in his 1984 Baseball Abstract that Nettles is arguably the best position player (i.e., non-pitcher) in major league history whose surname begins with the letter "N." As of 2009[update] this judgment appears to hold up: the only 3 players elected to the baseball Hall of Fame with "N" surnames are pitchers Hal Newhouser, Kid Nichols and Phil Niekro.
- In 1991, Nettles was also inducted by the San Diego Hall of Champions into the Breitbard Hall of Fame honoring San Diego's finest athletes both on and off the playing surface.
- As of 2010, Nettles holds the single-season Major League record for assists by a third baseman, and is tied with Brooks Robinson for second-most all-time. His 412 assists in 1971 broke the record of 405 shared by Harlond Clift in 1937 and Robinson in 1967. In 1973, his first year as a New York Yankee, he recorded 410 assists, breaking Clete Boyer's franchise record of 396 in 1962; Robinson would tie this mark in 1974. To date, Nettles and Robinson have four of the six 400-assist seasons by a third baseman in Major League history.
- Nettles is mentioned in the video for Bruce Springsteen's 1985 hit Glory Days. At the end of the video, Springsteen's character, a pitcher, tells a teen that he lost an imaginary game playing against the San Diego Padres because "Nettles got me, bottom of the ninth."
- List of AL Gold Glove Winners at Third Base
- List of major league players with 2,000 hits
- List of top 300 Major League Baseball home run hitters
- List of Major League Baseball players with 1000 runs
- List of Major League Baseball players with 1000 RBI
- List of Major League Baseball home run champions
- ^ Paperback 'Balls' by Graig Nettles and Peter Golenbock, page 19
- ^ http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703794104575546321663130134.html?mod=WSJ_NY_LEFTForthStories
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube
- Baseball Library
- Baseball Page
Reggie Jackson & George Scott
American League Home Run Champion
American League Championship Series MVP
New York Yankees team captain
January 29, 1982 to March 30, 1984
Willie Randolph & Ron Guidry
New York Yankees 1977 World Series Champions2 Paul Blair | 6 Roy White | 9 Graig Nettles | 10 Chris Chambliss | 11 Fred Stanley | 14 Lou Piniella | 15 Thurman Munson | 17 Mickey Rivers | 19 Dick Tidrow | 20 Bucky Dent | 24 Mike Torrez | 25 George Zeber | 28 Sparky Lyle | 29 Catfish Hunter | 30 Willie Randolph | 31 Ed Figueroa | 35 Don Gullett | 40 Fran Healy | 41 Cliff Johnson | 44 Reggie Jackson (World Series MVP) | 49 Ron Guidry | 50 Ken Clay
Manager 1 Billy Martin
Coaches: 8 Yogi Berra | 21 Cloyd Boyer | 33 Bobby Cox | 42 Art Fowler | 32 Elston Howard | 34 Dick Howser
New York Yankees 1978 World Series Champions2 Paul Blair | 6 Roy White | 9 Graig Nettles | 10 Chris Chambliss | 11 Fred Stanley | 12 Jim Spencer | 14 Lou Piniella | 15 Thurman Munson | 17 Mickey Rivers | 19 Dick Tidrow | 20 Bucky Dent (World Series MVP) | 24 Gary Thomasson | 25 Brian Doyle | 27 Jay Johnstone | 28 Sparky Lyle | 29 Catfish Hunter | 30 Willie Randolph | 31 Ed Figueroa | 36 Paul Lindblad | 41 Cliff Johnson | 43 Ken Clay | 44 Reggie Jackson | 45 Jim Beattie | 46 Mike Heath | 49 Ron Guidry | 54 Goose Gossage
Manager 21 Bob Lemon
Coaches: 8 Yogi Berra | 42 Art Fowler | 32 Elston Howard | 34 Dick Howser | 33 Gene Michael
New York Yankees team captains* denotes co-captain American League Home Run Champions
1901: Lajoie | 1902: Seybold | 1903: Freeman | 1904: Davis | 1905: Davis | 1906: Davis | 1907: Davis | 1908: Crawford | 1909: Cobb | 1910: Stahl | 1911: Baker | 1912: Baker & Speaker | 1913: Baker | 1914: Baker | 1915: Roth | 1916: Pipp | 1917: Pipp | 1918: Ruth & Walker | 1919: Ruth | 1920: Ruth | 1921: Ruth | 1922: K. Williams | 1923: Ruth | 1924: Ruth | 1925: Meusel | 1926: Ruth | 1927: Ruth | 1928: Ruth | 1929: Ruth | 1930: Ruth | 1931: Ruth & Gehrig | 1932: Foxx | 1933: Foxx | 1934: Gehrig | 1935: Greenberg & Foxx | 1936: Gehrig | 1937: DiMaggio | 1938: Greenberg | 1939: Foxx | 1940: Greenberg | 1941: T. Williams | 1942: T. Williams | 1943: York | 1944: Etten | 1945: Stephens | 1946: Greenberg | 1947: T. Williams | 1948: DiMaggio | 1949: T. Williams | 1950: Rosen | 1951: Zernial | 1952: Doby | 1953: Rosen | 1954: Doby | 1955: Mantle | 1956: Mantle | 1957: Sievers | 1958: Mantle | 1959: Killebrew & Colavito | 1960: Mantle | 1961: Maris | 1962: Killebrew | 1963: Killebrew | 1964: Killebrew | 1965: Conigliaro | 1966: Robinson | 1967: Yastrzemski & Killebrew | 1968: Howard | 1969: Killebrew | 1970: Howard | 1971: Melton | 1972: Allen | 1973: Jackson | 1974: Allen | 1975: Jackson & Scott | 1976: Nettles | 1977: Rice | 1978: Rice | 1979: Thomas | 1980: Jackson & Oglivie | 1981: Grich, Murray, Evans & Armas | 1982: Jackson & Thomas | 1983: Rice | 1984: Armas | 1985: Evans | 1986: Barfield | 1987: McGwire | 1988: Canseco | 1989: McGriff | 1990: Fielder | 1991: Canseco & Fielder | 1992: González | 1993: González | 1994: Griffey, Jr. | 1995: Belle | 1996: McGwire | 1997: Griffey, Jr. | 1998: Griffey, Jr. | 1999: Griffey, Jr. | 2000: Glaus | 2001: Rodriguez | 2002: Rodriguez | 2003: Rodriguez | 2004: Ramirez | 2005: Rodriguez | 2006: Ortiz | 2007: Rodriguez | 2008: Cabrera | 2009: Peña & Teixiera | 2010: Bautista | 2011: Bautista
American League Championship Series MVP Award1980: White | 1981: Nettles | 1982: Lynn | 1983: Boddicker | 1984: Gibson | 1985: Brett | 1986: Barrett | 1987: Gaetti | 1988: Eckersley | 1989: Henderson | 1990: Stewart | 1991: Puckett | 1992: Alomar | 1993: Stewart | 1994: Series Not Played | 1995: Hershiser | 1996: Williams | 1997: Grissom | 1998: Wells | 1999: Hernández | 2000: Justice | 2001: Pettitte | 2002: Kennedy | 2003: Rivera | 2004: Ortiz | 2005: Konerko | 2006: Polanco | 2007: Beckett | 2008: Garza | 2009: Sabathia | 2010: Hamilton | 2011: Cruz American League Third Baseman Gold Glove Award1958: Malzone | 1959: Malzone | 1960: Robinson | 1961: Robinson | 1962: Robinson | 1963: Robinson | 1964: Robinson | 1965: Robinson | 1966: Robinson | 1967: Robinson | 1968: Robinson | 1969: Robinson | 1970: Robinson | 1971: Robinson | 1972: Robinson | 1973: Robinson | 1974: Robinson | 1975: Robinson | 1976: Rodríguez | 1977: Nettles | 1978: Nettles | 1979: Bell | 1980: Bell | 1981: Bell | 1982: Bell | 1983: Bell | 1984: Bell | 1985: Brett | 1986: Gaetti | 1987: Gaetti | 1988: Gaetti | 1989: Gaetti | 1990: Gruber | 1991: Ventura | 1992: Ventura | 1993: Ventura | 1994: Boggs | 1995: Boggs | 1996: Ventura | 1997: Williams | 1998: Ventura | 1999: Brosius | 2000: Fryman | 2001: Chavez | 2002: Chavez | 2003: Chavez | 2004: Chavez | 2005: Chavez | 2006: Chavez | 2007: Beltré | 2008: Beltré | 2009: Longoria | 2010: Longoria | 2011: Beltré San Diego State University Aztec Hall Of Fame Inductees 1988
Laurel (Brassey) Iverson, Volleyball 1974-1981 | Willie Buchanon, Football 1970-71 | John Butler, Football 1933-35 | Don Coryell, Head Football Coach 1961-72 | Fred Dryer, Football 1967-68 | Gary Garrison, Football 1964-65 | Gene Littler, Golf 1949-52 | Haven Moses, Football 1966-67 | Graig Nettles, Baseball 1964-65; Basketball 1964-65 | C. E. Peterson, Football Coach 1921-29; Basketball 1921-26; Track Coach 1922-1946 | Milton Phelps, Basketball 1939-41 | Art Preston, Football 1949-51; Baseball 1950-52 | Arnie Robinson, Track 1970-71 | Dennis Shaw, Football 1968-69 | Brian Sipe, Football 1969-71 | Willie Steele, Track 1947-48; Basketball 1947; Baseball 1949
Tim Delaney, Football 1968-70 | Art Linkletter, Basketball, Swimming 1932-34 | Judy Porter, Basketball 1980-83 | Tom Reynolds, Football 1969, 1971
Steve Copp, Basketball 1973-76 | Chuck Courtney, Golf 1960-61 | Tom Dahms, Football 1947-49 | Monte Jackson, Football 1973-74 | Angela Rock, Volleyball 1981-84
Barbara Barrow, Golf 1974-77 | Bud Black, Baseball 1978-79 | Tony Pinkins, Basketball 1955-57 | Bob Smith, Track & Field 1949-50 | Charlie Smith, Baseball Coach 1934-64 | Deby (La Plante) Sweezey, Track & Field 1979-80
Tom Ables, (Honorary) | Michael Cage, Basketball 1981-84 | Vidal Fernandez, Soccer 1977-79 | Ann Lebedeff, Tennis 1972-74 | Tom Nettles, Football 1966-68 | LaTanya Sheffield, Track & Field 1983-86
Patricia (Mang) Jordan, Softball 1987-88 | Chris Marlowe, Volleyball 1972-73; Basketball 1970-73 | Bill Schutte, Football 1947-55 | Nate Wright, Football 1967-68 | George Ziegenfuss, M-Basketball Coach 1948-69
Marcelo Balboa, Soccer 1988-89 | Bob Brady, Basketball 1952-54 | Claudie Minor, Football 1972-73 | Micki Schillig, Tennis 1980-83 | Frank Scott, M-Golf Coach 1948-83
Paul Mott, Football; Basketball; Track & Field 1925-1928 | Ramona Pagel, Track & Field 1983-1984 | Todd Santos, Football 1984-1987 | Eric Wynalda, Soccer 1987-1989
Vicki (Cantrell) Maniglia, Women's Volleyball 1980-1983 | Kenny Hale, Men's Basketball 1941, 1946-47 | Joel Kramer, Men's Basketball 1974, 1976-78 | Duncan McFarland, Men's Volleyball 1973
Lennie Clements, Golf 1976-1979 | Laura DeSnoo, Track&Field 1983-1986 | Harry Hodgetts, M-Basketball 1937-1941 | Carol Plunkett, W-Tennis Coach 1976-1994 | Wendy Wheat, W-Volleyball 1977-1980
Norm Nygaard, Football 1952-54 | Falisha Wright, Women's Basketball, 1992-95 | Joe Gibbs, Football Player, Coach, 1961-63, 65-66 | 1940-41 Men's Basketball National Championship Team | 1987 Men's Soccer NCAA Runner-Up Team
1973 Men's Volleyball Team (national champions) | Marla Runyan, Women's Track & Field 1988-1991 | Al Skalecky, Men's Basketball 1966-1968 | Nicole Storto, Women's Tennis 1990-1993
Henry Allison, Football (1969-70) | Kern Carson, Football (1961-63) | Bernie Finlay, Men's Basketball (1958-60) | Lynn Kanuka, Women's Track and Field (1980-82) | 1987 Men's Rugby Team (national champions)
Bob Breitbard, Local Sports Pioneer (1938-40 Player, 1945 Coach) | Kim Goetz, Men's Basketball (1978-79) | Cynthia MacGregor, Women's Tennis (1983-86) | Neal Petties, Football (1961-63) | Craig Scoggins, Football (1965-66)
Bob Cluck, Baseball (1966-67) | Mike Dodd, Men's Basketball (1975-79), Men's Volleyball (1978-80) | John "Jake" Duich, Football (1935, 1937-38) | Steve Duich, Football (1966-67) | Jay Gutowski, Football (1953-56) | Bobby Meacham, Baseball (1979-81) | Rachel Scott, Water Polo (1995-98)
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.