Otis Nixon


Otis Nixon
Otis Nixon
Center fielder
Born: January 9, 1959 (1959-01-09) (age 52)
Evergreen, North Carolina
Batted: Switch Threw: Right 
MLB debut
June 16, 1983 for the New York Yankees
Last MLB appearance
October 3, 1999 for the Atlanta Braves
Career statistics
Batting average     .270
Hits     1,379
Runs batted in     318
Stolen bases     620
Teams

Otis Junior Nixon, Jr. (born January 9, 1959 in Evergreen, North Carolina) is a former Major League Baseball player. He was a center fielder and switch-hitter who played from 1983 to 1999. He has also played for the United States cricket team.

Contents

Career

In the minor leagues, Nixon led the league twice in stolen bases (1980 in the South Atlantic League with 67 & 1983 in the International League with 94), runs scored (1980 in the South Atlantic League with 124 & 1983 in the International League with 129, hits (162 in 1983 in the International League), at bats (557 in 1983 in the International League) and walks (57 in 1979 in the Appalachian League, 113 in 1980 in the South Atlantic League and 110 in 1981 in the Southern League). He started out as an infielder but was switched to outfield in 1983 due to his superior speed and his penchant for making errors (56 in 127 games in 1981 at shortstop for the Nashville Sounds).

Nixon shares the single game stolen base Major League record with 6 on June 16, 1991. He also holds the Atlanta Braves single season record for stolen bases with 72 in 1991. In 1982, Nixon stole 107 bases in a combined season between the AA level Nashville Sounds and the AAA level Columbus Clippers.

In 17 seasons Nixon played with the New York Yankees (1983), Cleveland Indians (1984–87), Montreal Expos (1988–90), Atlanta Braves (1991–93, 1999), Boston Red Sox (1994), Texas Rangers (1995), Toronto Blue Jays (1996–97), Los Angeles Dodgers (1997) and Minnesota Twins (1998).

Nixon battled a cocaine habit for much of his career. He was arrested on drug charges in 1987 while a member of the Cleveland Indians organization. Nixon failed a drug test in September 1991 and was suspended for 60 days, which caused Nixon to miss the 1991 World Series.

On July 25, 1992, Otis made a catch over the wall to rob Andy Van Slyke of a home run that was replayed constantly on the sports news television shows. Nixon made the final out of the 1992 World Series attempting to bunt for a base hit with a runner on 3rd and 2 out in extra innings of Game 6. Nixon had successfully bunted for base hits many times for the Braves in 1991-1992, but this time it didn't work. It was the only World Series in history to end on a bunt.[citation needed] On his previous at-bat, Nixon had singled home the tying run (swinging, not bunting) with 2 out in the bottom of the 9th to send Game 6 to extra innings.

In the 1999 National League Championship Series, 40-year-old Nixon made one of the key plays to save the series for the Braves. After the Braves had blown 5-0 and 7-3 leads in Game 6 and trailed 8-7 in the 8th inning, Nixon pinch ran at 1st base with 1 out and changed the momentum of the game and the series by stealing second and going to third when the throw went into center field. Nixon went on to score the tying run, and the Braves eventually won the game in extra innings.

Nixon was a career .270 hitter with 11 home runs, 318 RBI, 878 runs, 1379 hits, 142 doubles, 27 triples, and 620 stolen bases in 1709 games.

Nixon's younger brother, Donell Nixon, also played in the Major Leagues from 1987 through 1990 for the Seattle Mariners, the San Francisco Giants and Baltimore Orioles.

Post-career

Nixon today runs On-Track Ministries (http://www.otisnixon.com/). He is working towards obtaining his Master's Degree in Divinity.

In an interview on February 11, 2010 on Hardcore Sports Radio on Sirius, Nixon discussed how he overcame his demons and conquered his drug and alcohol addiction.[1]

Otis also recently married Gospel artist Candi Staton. [2]

See also

Sources

Preceded by
Gene Larkin
Last hitter of the World Series (bunt groundout to pitcher)
1992
Succeeded by
Joe Carter

References

  1. ^ Last Call podcast, Otis Nixon discusses how he conquered his demons, Hardcore Sports Radio / Last Call, February 11, 2010.
  2. ^ Otisnixon.com, Otis Nixon's On-Track Ministries

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