C.J. Nitkowski

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Christopher John Nitkowski

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Biographical Information[edit]

Southpaw C.J. Nitkowski played professional baseball for 17 seasons and spent parts of 10 of those years at the major league level, never winning more than four games in any season. Plagued with arm problems, his major league career ended with the Washington Nationals in 2005. A few years later he played professionally in both Japan and Korea. On September 7, 2007, he got a double play on his only pitch of the game, becoming the first pitcher to do that in both the majors and Nippon Pro Baseball.

He made a comeback attempt in 2012, working out for the New York Mets before spring training and then pitching for the AA Binghamton Mets and AAA Buffalo Bisons after being signed in mid-summer. By that point, at age 39, he was a sidearming LOOGY. He had first tried out the style while playing in Japan, but mostly experimented with his wife Megan, a former softball player at St. John's University, acting as his personal catcher while he was working on his new motion in his backyard in the family's Atlanta, GA home. He also used stem-cell therapy, a method used with success by Bartolo Colon, to rejuvenate his left shoulder after a 2011 injury.

Nitkowski had a role in the 2013 movie 42, playing the part of pitcher Dutch Leonard. In 2017, he became a television analyst for the games of the Texas Rangers on the Fox Sports Southwest cable network.

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