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Simon Nicholls

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Simon Burdette Nicholls

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[edit] Biographical Information

Simon Nicholls played six seasons in the majors, most notably finishing fifth in the 1907 American League with a .302 batting average.

Nicholls attended college at the University of Maryland, then called the Maryland Agricultural College, right before Moonlight Graham was there, and it was thought that after college he might become a gentleman farmer on his father's farm. Nicholls did play briefly in the majors in 1903 when the visiting Detroit Tigers were short a player when they appeared against the Washington Senators.

He played amateur and semi-pro ball for a few years, and then played in the minors in 1906. John McGraw wanted to purchase him but Nicholls' team said no. At the end of the 1906 season the Philadelphia Athletics bought him and he played a few games for them.

1907 was his big year and the Athletics competed for the pennant. On September 27th he was a key figure in a game that John Thorn describes in his book Baseball's 10 Greatest Games.

He slumped in 1908, and in 1909 became a backup. After a few games for the Cleveland Naps in 1910 he was sent to the minors but refused to report until traded to the minor league Baltimore Orioles, for whom he played well.

On March 11, 1911 he died of typhoid fever. On April 11th, the Athletics came to Baltimore, MD to play the Orioles on Nicholls Day, a fund-raiser for his family, which raised $5,000.

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