Sam Nahem

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Samuel Ralph Nahem
(Subway Sam)

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Biographical Information[edit]

Pitcher Sam Nahem was in the majors in 1938, 1941-1942, and 1948. As a rookie for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1938, he won his only game, a nine-inning stint in which he gave up three runs. He came back in 1941 with the St. Louis Cardinals, going 5-2.

Nahem was a very unusual ballplayer, one who passed the time in the minors by "reading all of Balzac". He grew up in a Syrian Jewish neighborhood and his first language was Arabic. He was a college quarterback and served three years in the Army during World War II. He played service ball along with Leon Day and pitched in front of as many as 50,000 fans in Germany. In addition to his baseball career, Nahem passed the bar exam and was a licensed attorney. He was a union organizer after his baseball days.

He threw a submarine slider against right-handed hitters and an overhand curve against lefties. He once said he wished that God had given him movement on his fastball, but He didn't. He was with the Montreal Royals in 1939 and the Houston Buffaloes in 1940. He led the league in ERA in 1940. With the semi-pro Brooklyn Bushwicks in 1946 he posted a record of 16-4.

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