William Mitchell Nash
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 8½", Weight 167 lb.
- Debut August 5, 1884
- Final Game May 28, 1898
- Born June 24, 1865 in Richmond, VA USA
- Died November 15, 1929 in East Orange, NJ USA
When people say there weren't any good third basemen in the early days of baseball, they forget about people like Billy Nash. Nash played 15 years and was both a decent hitter and a good fielder. Some have called him the best glove man of his era. The similarity scores method shows the most similar player to Nash as Willie Kamm, and Hall of Famer Jimmy Collins is also on his list of the most similar players. Bill James ranked Nash as the # 49 third baseman of all time.
Nash, a Richmond, VA boy who had worked in a shoe factory in Richmond, spent his first year, 1884, with the Richmond Virginians in the American Association at age 19 and then spent the rest of his career in the National League except for 1890 when he was in the Players League.
He was in Boston from 1885 to 1895, primarily with the Boston Beaneaters. His best years were in the 1880s, but the Beaneaters were most dominant from 1891 to 1893 when they won the pennant each year, and Nash played decently in those years as well. He was second in the National League in RBI in 1888 and 1891, although RBI was not an official stat in those days.
He finished out his career with three years playing for the Philadelphia Phillies, after being traded for Hall of Famer Billy Hamilton who was also a veteran at the time. Nash was player-manager in 1896, and in that role scouted and brought to Philadelphia Nap Lajoie.
He pitched twice, both times effectively, giving up no runs.
Nash set a record in 1890 when he performed 37 double plays.
"It is Capt. Billy Nash, of the Boston League team. Here's to you, Billy. Good things come high, but we must have them. Billy is good, very good, and is correspondingly high. For playing third base the triumvirs will pay him $4000. For captaining the team he will get $1000 more. For signing the little paper that gives Capt. William to our League nine he gets a cool $2500 as a bonus. In other words for the coming season Billy will get $7500. A nice little plum. . . But the triumvirs are not kicking. They are very happy. . . Bill Nash will take with him quite a following . . ." - Sporting Life, March 14, 1891
". . . that marvelous combination of chain lightning, quickness and accuracy, Billy Nash, of Boston . . . is . . . the best fielding third baseman in the League." - Sporting Life, March 16, 1895
- 100 RBI Seasons: 2 (1893 & 1895)
- 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 4 (1887, 1890, 1893 & 1894)
|Philadelphia Phillies Manager