For more great baseball stories like this one, 'like' us on Facebook -

Monday, February 1, 2010

Jamie Nelson, Not Crash Davis - 565

For an redone post on Jamie Nelson from April 25, 2011:
Injuries and Expectations

Already two seasons removed from the 40 big league games he'd played in Seattle, Jamie Nelson sat out two months with arm problems. The downtime didn't help.

On a snap throw to second, the catcher's arm also snapped.

"Right when I threw it," he told the Los Angeles Times in 1986, "it felt like a knife went through my arm and cut everything up. I knew it was over."

For Nelson, his big league career was over. It was over in 1983. But his playing days weren't. After time off, including a stint rehabbing in an amateur league, a stint chronicled by The Times, Nelson made it back as far as AAA Portland in 1990.

With Portland, Sports Illustrated even came and did a feature on him. By that time, the catcher had spent 12 years in minors, minus a year out on injury. He bristled at comparisons to Crash Davis. He tried to see the movie, but walked out halfway through, he told SI.

"It hit home pretty hard," he told the magazine. "It didn't have anything to do with me, but then again, it did."

But Crash Davis was the player big league clubs wanted him to be, sending him to the minors to season younger players. That's not the player Nelson wanted to be. In 1990, he returned to Portland saying if he was sent down to AA, he would be done.

"The last thing I wanted to do was play Crash Davis and go from Triple A to AA," he told SI. "That's not exactly a progression."

But in 1986, he still wasn't sure he'd be well enough for any role as a pro player. He was playing for free in the Orange County Amateur Baseball Association.

Two years before Crash Davis be a household name, Nelson wistfully talked about the greatest 72 days of his career.

"After my first game in the Kingdome, I went back into the clubhouse and there was a big spread with turkey and dressing waiting for us," he told The Times. "I couldn't believe it. After a game down in A or Double-A, you get yourself a microwave burrito at 7-11 and you're happy as a lark.

"I said, 'God, no wonder everybody talks about getting here.' "

Nelson played 76 games for Portland in 1990, mostly as a backup catcher to prospect and fellow 1990 CMC setter Derek Parks. He returned in 1994 playing independent ball as a player/coach for the Mobile Baysharks of the Texas-Louisiana League, for his final playing year.

But his days in baseball still aren't over. He's coached and managed in the Rays organization. These days, he's one of eight roving coordinators for the Rays. He focus, of course on catching. Among the other Rays coordinators are fellow 1990 CMC set members Dick Bosman and Skeeter Barnes.

Be sure and check out the full articles from The Times and Sports Illustrated. For the 1986 Times article, click here: For the 1990 Sports Illustrated article, click here:

1990 CMC Tally
Cards Reviewed: 36/880 - 4.1%
Major Leaguers: 20 - 56%
Never Made the Majors: 16 - 44%
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 6
10+ Seasons in the Minors: 12

No comments:

Post a Comment