Nate Colbert

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Nathan Colbert Jr.

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Biographical Information[edit]

Nate Colbert played ten seasons in the big leagues, hitting 173 home runs. He twice hit 38 homers in a season and struck out frequently - more than 100 times in each of six years with at least 400 or more at-bats.

Colbert, who broke into the majors with the Houston Astros in 1966, became a regular with the expansion 1969 San Diego Padres. He led the first Padres team in homers and RBI and then slugged 38 home runs the following year, 1970. In 1971 he hit 27 homers on a team that hit fewer than 100 total, and then in 1972 managed to rack up 111 RBI on a team that scored only 488 runs all season. No one else on the team had as many as 50 RBI that year, and no player had ever driven in such a high percentage of his team's runs. Colbert's RBI performance in 1972 is memorialized in an article in The Complete Armchair Book of Baseball called "Nate Colbert's Unknown RBI Record".

On August 1, 1972, Colbert tied Stan Musial with five home runs in one day against the Atlanta Braves. In the first game of the doubleheader, Colbert had two homers and five RBI. He followed with three homers and eight RBI in the nightcap. Game 1 of the doubleheader Game 2 of the doubleheader

After another good season with the Padres in 1973, Colbert tailed off sharply in 1974, hitting only .207. He was traded to the Detroit Tigers after the season, then spent some time with the Montreal Expos and Oakland A's. Hampered by back troubles, he hit under .200 in 1975-1976. He is still the Padres career leader in home runs and was an inaugural inductee to the club's Hall of Fame in 1999.

The similarity scores method shows similar players as sluggers such as Jim Gentile and Steve Balboni, with the most similar player being Lee Stevens, a much more recent player whose Adjusted OPS+ is much lower than Colbert's 119.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • 1967 Player of the Year Texas League Amarillo Sonics
  • 3-time NL All-Star (1971-1973)
  • 20-Home Run Seasons: 5 (1969-1973)
  • 30-Home Run Seasons: 2 (1970 & 1972)
  • 100 RBI Seasons: 1 (1972)

Records Held[edit]

  • Home runs, doubleheader, 5 (August 1, 1972)
  • RBI, doubleheader, 13 (August 1, 1972)
  • RBI highest percentage of team runs, 22.75% (111/488, 1972: second place is Wally Berger, 22.61%, 1935 Braves)

Year-by-Year Managerial Record[edit]

Year Team League Record Finish Playoffs Notes
1995 Grays Harbor Gulls Western Baseball League 31-59 4th
1996 Clarksville Coyotes Big South League 31-41 5th

Further Reading[edit]

  • Nate Colbert (as told to George Vass): "The Game I'll Never Forget", Baseball Digest, October 1987, pp. 75-77. [1]

Related Sites[edit]