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Ernie Nevers

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Ernest Alonzo Nevers

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[edit] Biographical Information

"You've got good speed, kid. For my sake, I hope you stick to football." - Babe Ruth, speaking to pitcher Ernie Nevers

Ernie Nevers, the great football player, also had a brief major league baseball career.

He went to Stanford University, where he played football under coach Pop Warner. He was Stanford's leading rusher in a losing effort in the 1925 Rose Bowl against the Notre Dame team coached by Knute Rockne. Nevers had signed with Stanford only after a recruiting blitz - he was supposedly visiting UC Berkeley when Stanford partisans lured him to a hideout with a good-looking young woman. Later, Nevers admitted that he had been all set to go to Berkeley.

As a Stanford baseball player, he once pitched 37 consecutive scoreless innings.

After Stanford, he also signed a basketball deal and played professional basketball in 1927, in the same year as he played professional football and baseball. He came to the major leagues in 1926, and also to the NFL in 1926. During off-seasons, he would sometimes appear in movies with a USC football player who later became known as John Wayne. He is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio and the College Football Hall of Fame. He holds the NFL record with 40 points in a single game.

Appearing in 44 games as a pitcher from 1926 to 1928 with the St. Louis Browns, he went 6-12 with an ERA that was slightly above the league average. However, his ERA each year was better than the team's ERA. He was somewhat wild, throwing 5 wild pitches in 27 appearances in 1927. He gave up two of Babe Ruth's 60 home runs in 1927. As a hitter, Nevers once hit a double off Walter Johnson.

In World War II, he served in the Marines. His battalion was missing for several months, and several died. Nevers had wasted away to 110 pounds. His wife died while he was missing.

Nevers' great-nephew, Gordie Nevers, was a minor league pitcher in the Kansas City A's organization. Gordie's son, Tom Nevers, was selected by the Houston Astros in the first round of the 1990 amateur draft. [1]

[edit] References

  1. Wong,Gregg. "Weinke, Nevers Focus On Baseball This Week." P. 4. St. Paul Pioneer Press. 23 July, 1989

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