Roger Nelson (baseball)
June 7, 1944 |
|September 9, 1967 for the Chicago White Sox|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 23, 1976 for the Kansas City Royals|
|Earned run average||3.06|
|Career highlights and awards|
Roger Eugene Nelson is a former professional baseball pitcher. Nelson pitched all or part of nine seasons in Major League Baseball between 1967 and 1976 with a record of 29 wins, 32 losses, and 5 saves.
Nelson was signed by the Chicago White Sox as an amateur free agent before the 1963 season. He played four seasons in the minor leagues before earning a September call-up in 1967. That off-season, he was part of a major trade with the Baltimore Orioles which sent Don Buford to Baltimore and brought future Hall of Famer Luis Aparicio back to the White Sox.
After one season with Baltimore, he was chosen by the Kansas City Royals with the first selection in the American League phase of the 1968 Major League Baseball expansion draft. Along with Wally Bunker, Nelson formed a formidable starting duo for the expansion Royals in 1969, compiling a 3.31 ERA in 29 starts. After two seasons struggling with injuries, Nelson bounced back in 1972 to finish fifth in the league in ERA (2.08) and also setting career bests with 11 wins and 120 strikeouts. He finished his tenure with the Royals in style, throwing a complete game shutout at the Texas Rangers, 4-0, in the final regular season game ever played at Kansas City's Municipal Stadium on October 4, 1972.
That offseason, Nelson was traded to the Cincinnati Reds in a deal that would bring long-time Royals mainstay Hal McRae to Kansas City for the first time. Unfortunately, Nelson would never repeat the successes of 1969 and 1972, and he was sold back to the Chicago White Sox. He was released by the White Sox before ever pitching for them, and after a brief turn through the Oakland Athletics farm system, Nelson got one last chance with the Royals in 1976, appearing in 3 games in September to end his major league career.