May 5, 1967 |
|June 29, 1990 for the Cleveland Indians|
Last MLB appearance
|June 1, 2003 for the San Diego Padres|
|Earned run average||4.51|
Career highlights and awards
|Competitor for the United States|
|Baseball World Cup|
Charles Harrison Nagy (born May 5, 1967) is an American former Major League Baseball All-Star right-handed pitcher who played for 14 seasons in the major leagues from 1990 to 2003. He played for the Cleveland Indians and San Diego Padres. He served as the pitching coach for the Arizona Diamondbacks from 2011 to 2013.
Early life and amateur career
Nagy was born on May 5, 1967, in Bridgeport, Connecticut. He is of Hungarian ancestry. As a young boy, he lived for a few years in St. Petersburg, Florida, where he played Little League and was coached by his uncle, Sanford Harrison. Nagy attended Roger Ludlowe High School in Fairfield, Connecticut, where he starred in baseball and football.
Nagy attended the University of Connecticut. Playing for the Huskies, he ranked second and eighth all-time for strikeouts in a single season (113, 81) and fifth for his career (194). His single-season marks for the Huskies (entering the 2011 season) include tied for third in complete games (8), tied for sixth in saves (4), and 17th in innings pitched (86.1). He was the first Huskies player drafted in the first round and the first to be named the BIG EAST Pitcher of the Year, which he won twice (for the 1987 and 1988 seasons).
Nagy was a member of the Team USA Baseball that competed in the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea as a demonstration sport. Nagy made 19 appearances for Team USA, going 3-1 with a 1.05 ERA and a team-leading six saves. He appeared in two games in the Olympics, pitching 2.0 innings and earning a save. Team USA defeated defending champion Japan to win the tournament and win individual gold medals, however, since baseball was a demonstration sport, the medals did not count in the respective nations' medal totals.
Nagy was taken in the first round as 17th overall pick by the Cleveland Indians during the 1988 Major League Baseball Draft amateur draft. He was second of three first round picks selected, sandwiched between SS Mark Lewis and pitcher Jeff Mutis. Being a successful college pitcher, Nagy skipped several levels and was assigned to the Kinston Indians, the Cleveland "High A" affiliate in the Carolina League. He posted an 8-4 record and 1.51 earned run average (ERA) with 99 strikeouts in 95.1 innings over 13 starts. He was quickly promoted to Canton-Akron Indians, the Double-A affiliate in the Eastern League. Nagy finish with a 4-5 record and a 3.35 ERA in 15 starts. After the season, Baseball America rated him as the #27 prospect.
Nagy returned to the so-called "little Indians" for the start of the 1990 season, where he went 13-8 with a 2.52 ERA in 23 starts. He was soon called up to Cleveland, a hapless club that would finish 4th in AL East (77-85) and was in desperate need of starting pitching. He made his big league debut on June 29, 1990, a 7-2 loss to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. He would end with a 2-4 record and a 5.91 ERA in 9 starts. In 1991, he finished 10-15 with a 4.13 ERA, and tied for eighth in the American League Rookie of the Year Award for 1991. On August 8, 1992, he threw a complete game one-hitter against the Baltimore Orioles, with just two walks and giving up a single in the seventh.
1992 was possibly Nagy's best year statatistically as he finished the season with an impressive 2.96 ERA with a career high 252.0 innings pitched, he also amassed a .630 win percent with a 17-10 record despite the 1992 Indians low win percent of .469. He also pitched 10 complete games and pitched three of out of his six career shutouts that year while making his first all star appearance.
On May 15, 1993, Nagy left a game against the Milwaukee Brewers with a shoulder injury after pitching to just two batters. He was a miserable 2-6 at that point and undergo surgery for a torn labrum on June 29, shutting him down for the 1993 season. He rebounded in 1994 with a respectable 10-8 record with a 3.45 ERA during the strike-shortened season.
During the 1995 season, Nagy led the staff with a 16-6 and a 4.55 ERA, as the Indians returned to the World Series for the first time since 1954. He pitched well in the division and league championship series, giving up two earned runs in 15 innings, but surrendered five earned runs in seven innings in game 3 of the 1995 World Series. The next year, 1996, was arguably his best season, ended 17-5 and a 3.41 ERA, and he finished fourth in the Cy Young Award voting.
In the 1997 World Series, Nagy was the game 3 starter. He gave up 5 earned runs in innings. In game 7, after a blown save by closer José Mesa, manager Mike Hargrove was forced to bring in Nagy, the starter with the team's most wins during the regular season (15), in the 10th inning to try to mop up. In the bottom of the 11th inning, Nagy gave up a bases-loaded single to Edgar Rentería that appeared to graze off his outstretched glove to end the game and the series, pinning Nagy with the loss.
During this period from 1995 through 1999, Nagy was the workhorse of the Tribe pitching staff, amassing 15 or more wins each season, a feat only matched by Greg Maddux. However, Nagy was placed on the disabled list (DL) on May 16, 2000, snapping a streak of 192 consecutive starts dating back to October 3, 1993. On May 19, 2000, he underwent arthroscopic surgery to remove bone chips from his elbow. He returned to make three starts in September, but was shut down after three losses and persistent pain. He would get just 6 more wins from 2001 through 2003.
Despite a solid spring training and not missing a turn in the spring rotation, Nagy started the 2001 season on the disabled list, as the Indians felt he needed to build strength in his surgically repaired elbow. He did not come off of the DL on June 1.
Nagy established an endowed baseball scholarship at UConn with a gift of $100,000.
- Famous Hungarians in sports americanhungarianfederation.org (accessed July 4, 2011)
- Nagy Named Diamondbacks Pitching Coach uconnhuskies.com, October 27, 2010 (accessed July 4, 2011)
- 2011 Huskies Media Guide uconnhuskies.com, 2011 Guide (accessed July 4, 2011)
- Two Huskies Taken in First Round of MLB Draft uconnhuskies.com, June 7, 2011 (accessed July 4, 2011)
- UConn Earns Three BIG EAST Major Awards uconnhuskies.com, May 24, 2011 (accessed July 4, 2011)
- Schneider, Russell Cleveland Indians The Cleveland Indians Encyclopedia, page 227 (accessed July 4, 2011)
- AL Central Team Notes usatoday.com, March 27, 2001 (accessed July 4, 2011)
- AL Central Team Notes usatoday.com, June 5, 2001 (accessed July 4, 2011)
- Smoke Signals mlb.com, January 25, 2009 (accessed July 4, 2011)
- official team bio mlb.com (accessed July 4, 2011)
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube
|American League All-Star Game Starting Pitcher
Mel Stottlemyre, Jr.
|Arizona Diamondbacks pitching coach