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Thursday, August 10, 2023

Jim Nettles made the majors as a player, looked to get there later as a manager

Jim Nettles 1990 Peninsula Pilots card

Peninsula Pilots manager Jim Nettles set out his goals and those of his players to The Newport News Daily Press in August 1990.

The former big league player wanted to return there, and get his players there, too.

"Everybody here wants to go to the major leagues," Nettles told The Daily Press. "That's where things happen. That's what it's all about. That's why the kids are here and that's why we (the managers) are here, too."

Nettles major league time as a player spanned six seasons and Japan. He then had a lengthy career in the minors as a manager, but did not get back to the bigs.

Nettles' career in baseball began in 1968, taken by the Twins in the fourth round of the draft out of San Diego State University. Nettles is the brother of fellow major leaguer Graig Nettles.

Nettles started with the Twins at short-season St. Cloud. He then moved to AA Charlotte for 1969 and AAA Evansville in 1970. Nettles also made Minnesota.

He saw 13 games for the Twins that first year and 70 the next, hitting .250. In 1972, he saw another 102 games for the Twins and hit .204.

He returned to the majors with Detroit for 43 games in 1974. In one of those games, he hit a crucial home run off Hall of Famer Catfish Hunter.

"His first pitch will be a strike: He's always around the plate," Nettles told The San Mateo Times. "This was my first game against him this year, but I've probably had seven or eight at-bats against him before."

Nettles moved to Japan for 1975. He hit .234 in 84 games for Nankai. He then saw 11 games with the Royals in 1979 and one final game with Oakland in 1981.

He then started his managerial career by 1983 with the Athletics at rookie Idaho Falls. He moved to single-A Madison for 1985 and stayed there five seasons.

Starting his first season there, he assessed his team to The Wisconsin State Journal.

"We're loaded with pitchers and catchers," Nettles told The Journal, "but it doesn't look like we'll score many runs."

Nettles moved to Peninsula and the Mariners in 1990, then AA Jacksonville in 1991 and later high-A Dunedin. He's most recently credited as hitting coach at short-season Spokane in 2006.

Jim Nettles 1990 Peninsula Pilots card

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:4,201
Made the Majors:1,379-32.8%
Never Made Majors:2,822-67.2%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:560
10+ Seasons in the Minors:344

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