Thursday, September 5, 2013

1993 TOPPS FINEST: #58 CHARLES NAGY


ALL HE DID WAS WIN FOR CLEVELAND.




THAT 2.96 ERA IN '92 WAS A CAREER-BEST.



DEFINING THE PLAYER

  • In his first eight full seasons for the Indians, Charles Nagy simply took the ball and won every fifth day. He notched at least 10 victories each season and became the ace in 1997. However, in his team's biggest game, Manager Mike Hargrove sat him in favor of a rookie. As fate would have it, Nagy wound up playing a pivotal role in the outcome.

DEFINING MOMENT

  • On Oct. 26, 1997, in Game 7 of the World Series, Nagy was sent to the bullpen while Jaret Wright started against the Marlins. Wright pitched decently for six-plus and the game was tied entering the 11th. That's when Nagy was called on in relief for the first time since his rookie season in '90. Nagy, who gave up two hits and walked one, couldn't pitch around an error by second baseman #36 Tony Fernandez. Nagy gave up the winner by Edgar Renteria, whose single up the middle ticked off his glove as the Marlins won 3-2 to take their second world title while Cleveland extended its drought to 49 years.

DEFINING SEASON

  • Nagy matched a career-high in wins in '96, finishing 17-5 with a 3.41 ERA and a 167 strikeouts in 222 innings. He was an All-Star for the second time and finished fourth in the AL Cy Young Award race.

FIVE FINAL FACTS

  1. Hargrove's reasoning for starting Wright over Nagy in Game 7 was based on how each had pitched in the Series: Wright had been throwing well in that postseason and beat the Marlins 10-3 in Game 4, allowing three earned in six innings; Nagy was tagged for five earned in six innings of a 14-11 Game 3 loss. 
  2. Nagy attended UConn and was the school's first baseball player drafted in the first round as the 17th pick in '88.
  3. After pitching 252 innings in his breakout 17-10 season in '92, Nagy tore the labrum in his shoulder the next season and was done after only nine starts.
  4. Beginning in '94, Nagy averaged 15 wins a season through '99.
  5. He's in his first season as the Diamondbacks' pitching coach.

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