29 November 2010

nick willhite, double dipper

this is the fourth installment in a series highlighting those players that have worn dodger blue, left, and then returned to wear the uniform once again. brett butler, omar daal, and eric young are the players previously feted.

nick willhite made his major league debut in dramatic fashion.  the dodger lefty started the second game of a doubleheader against the cubs in june of 1963 and threw a 5-hit shutout.  here he is on his 1964 topps rookie card:
after that debut, willhite made 7 more starts and finished with a 2-3 record.  in 1964, he made 7 starts and 3 relief appearances for the dodgers, and again won 2 games.  after the season ended, willhite's contract was purchased by the washington senators.
interestingly, willhite's companion on that 1964 card, dick nen, would also join him in washington as he was part of the frank howard/claude osteen deal.  anyway, back to our double dipper.  willhite appeared in 5 games for the senators, all in relief.  he had no decisions, just a 7.11 era in 6.1 innings.

then, on may 11, 1965, the dodgers purchased willhite back from washington.  he made 15 appearances for the dodgers, including 6 starts, and won (you guessed it) 2 games.  he didn't appear in the 1965 world series, but was back with the dodgers in 1966.
after that season, willhite was traded to the angels for bob lee.  the angels later sent him to the mets, which is where he pitched his final game in 1967.  those 6 wins (2 each in his first 3 seasons) were the only wins of willhite's career.

willhite had a tough go of it later in his life battling addictions and passed away from cancer a couple of years ago.

here's to you nick willhite, double dipper!

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