14 July 2014

a memorial patch for joe nuxhall

last month (june 10 to be exact) marked the 70th anniversary of joe nuxhall's major league debut.  as a young baseball fan, i was enthralled with the idea of a 15-year old pitching in the major leagues.  of course, nuxhall pitched in just one game for the reds that year, and was on the roster partly due to the rosters being depleted by world war ii.  still, he was the youngest player in major league history, retiring two of the first three batters he faced (walking the second batter) before issuing another walk, a single to stan musial, and then walking three in a row to force home three runs.  another single to score two more, and nuxhall's day was done.  i can't imagine being 15 and facing stan musial in a major league game.

nuxhall went on to have a solid major league career, spending all but one-plus years of his 16-year run with the reds.  after he retired as a player, he became a broadcaster for the team and so it was no surprise when the reds added a memorial patch to their uniforms for the 2008 season following nuxhall's death in november of 2007.  you can see the 'nuxy' patch on brandon phillips' 2008 upper deck sp authentic card
jay bruce's 2008 upper deck masterpieces card
as well as 2009 upper deck cards of bronson arroyo
and edinson volquez
the card in the binder, however, is this 2009 upper deck jay bruce card
the reds players also wore nuxhall's number 41 during pregame ceremonies on opening day 2008, with aaron harang being allowed to wear the jersey, complete with nuxhall's name on the back, for the entire game.

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