SABR

Nelson Briles

This article was written by John Stahl.

Smart, tenacious and personable, Nelson (Nellie) Briles attributed much of his baseball success to his strong family ties. He once called his family the “foundation” of his life.1 “With five children in the family,” he once recalled, “my parents managed to somehow keep me playing the game. I’ll never be able to repay them. Words just can’t express my feelings.”2

From this strong family foundation, Nelson emerged as a kid who could throw very hard with some control from a pitching mound. The young Briles started with a 90-92 mph moving fastball that featured a sharp, sinking action. Nellie could be “overpowering.”3

Briles’ subsequent development and professional baseball success came from his ability to learn and overcome the many challenges associated with pitching. In particular, he benefited tremendously from watching and learning from his teammate and baseball idol, Bob Gibson.

Nelson pitched in both the National and the American League. He pitched for two NL teams: the St. Louis Cardinals (six years) and the Pittsburgh Pirates (three years). In the AL, he pitched for the Kansas City Royals (two years), Texas Rangers, (two years) and Baltimore Orioles (parts of two years).4 Briles pitched in the 1967, 1968, and 1971 World Series, starting three times and relieving in two others. He pitched two complete game victories in the World Series for two different teams (St. Louis-1967 and Pittsburgh-1971).5

Nelson Kelley Briles was born on August 5, 1943, in the very small town of Dorris, California. He was the third son of Ray and Nyles Briles. Both his parents worked in the lumber industry. His father was a general mechanic. His mother caught and sorted boards as they were sawed.

Briles estimated his family moved about 40 times. Even in this fluid environment, his family made sure he had access to baseball. He recalled his father “spent long hours playing catch with me.”6

By the time he reached Chico High School, Briles was an all-around athlete. In football, he was a T-Formation quarterback and the team punter. He played varsity basketball and pitched for the baseball team. When he didn’t pitch, he played third base. In high school, Nellie was a speech major. He starred in a school production of “Damn Yankees,” where he initially met his future wife, Ginger Moore.7 He married Ginger in 1965.

Briles’ baseball abilities prompted Santa Clara University to offer him a baseball scholarship. As a freshman, Nellie had an 11-2 record. Major league scouts immediately descended on Nellie. In the previous year, however, the Santa Clara baseball team saw several of their top pitchers leave to accept offers from major league teams. Determined to not let that happen again, Santa Clara tried to keep Nelson “under raps.” 8

Over the summer, Nelson pitched semi-pro baseball in Canada for the Medicine Hat, Alberta, team. He went 16-4 and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. He later recalled, “The Medicine Hat ballpark was on a river and we saw the biggest and most bugs anywhere. That’s the only place I know where the game had to be interrupted because of bugs. So many bugs swarmed over the lights that the bulbs would pop. The lights had to be turned off for a while in hopes the bugs would go away.”9

Nellie returned to Santa Clara University the following fall. His family suffered an unexpected loss when his father, Ray, passed away due to a heart attack. Former major league infielder and Phillies scout Jim Bockman knew Ray and helped Nellie overcome his grief. Bockman served as a pallbearer at Ray’s funeral. “Bockman was like a second father to me,” Briles recalled later.10

Nelson always remembered the advice Bockman once gave him, “if what you did yesterday still looks good to you today, then you haven’t done anything today.”11

Several weeks later, Santa Clara played an exhibition game against the San Francisco Giants. Briles’ father had planned to take the day off work and take the entire family to see Nelson pitch. Taking the mound in the fifth inning, Nelson allowed only one bunt single and fanned five, including Mays and McCovey. He walked three. After the game, Briles said, “That game was for my father.”12

His performance quickly brought a bonus offer from the Giants. San Francisco, however, had recently given another Santa Clara pitcher, Bob Garibaldi, a $100,000 bonus. By contrast, the Giants made Nellie a relatively modest offer of a $10,000 signing bonus and a minor league contract. Several other teams, including the Cardinals also made offers to Briles. Cardinal scout Bill Sayers signed Nellie to a contract with an estimated bonus of $40,000-$50,000.

Nelson immediately began distributing parts of his signing bonus to family members. He helped his mother pay off “big” medical bills and get a car so she could go back to work. He also helped his older twin brothers pay for their junior college educations.13

The Cardinals quickly sent young Nellie to their Tulsa Oilers affiliate in the Texas League (AA). Tulsa immediately began pitching him. At first, Nelson experienced control problems and lacked confidence in his curve. Maintaining his concentration while pitching seemed to be the problem. Briles gave his Tulsa manager, Grover Resinger, full credit for helping him mentally on the mound. “I didn’t know what to do to hitters and how to set them up until skip (Resinger) made a thinker out of me,” said Briles. “When I learned concentration, it didn’t mean throwing strikes, but rather to set up the hitter and pitch with a purpose,” he related.14

Nellie’s numbers for his first season of organized baseball were impressive. He completed the season with an 11-6 record and a 2.79 ERA. He appeared in 28 games, starting 25 of them. He walked 61 while striking out 132. Briles attended Chico State University in both the fall of 1964 and 1965 primarily to be with Ginger.

Because he received a signing bonus in 1964, major league baseball required that the Cardinals put Briles on their 1965 major league roster or risk losing him in the first year draft. St. Louis protected Briles.

St. Louis manager Red Schoendienst initially used Nelson as a mop-up man. Briles first major league appearance came in a mid-April game in St Louis against the Cubs. His first major league victory came in relief against the Giants in early July in St. Louis. Red used Nelson more as he became comfortable with him. Nellie ended up with 37 appearances during the 1965 season. Thirty-five appearances were in relief. Briles finished the 1965 season with a 3-3 record and four saves and a 3.50 ERA.15

The powerful and highly competitive Bob Gibson led the 1966 Cardinals pitching staff. Briles used Gibson as his pitching model. Late in the 1966 season, Nelson made some significant changes to his pitching approach drawing on his observations of and discussions with Gibson.

He realized that he was always trying to get hitters to miss the ball. A smarter approach would be to let them hit the ball. Now that he had developed better control, he could use it to try to guide the hitters’ contact. He would go for the strikeout only when a game situation demanded it.16

In 1966, Schoendienst used him as both a starter and a reliever. He finished with a forgettable 4-15 record. However, he ended the season with a respectable 3.21 ERA over 154 innings and recorded six saves. For the season, Briles appeared in 49 games: relieving 32 times and starting 17 games. Of his 15 losses, six were in relief and nine were starts. He lost his last seven decisions.17

Early in the 1967 season, at the suggestion of Cardinal pitching coach Billy Muffet and others, Nellie began using a no-windup pitching delivery in games. In assessing the approach, Briles noted, “It’s difficult pitching without a windup. To start with, you have to have a pretty strong arm to use it. The whole secret is the rotation of the hips. The rotation of the hips is what gives you the momentum to deliver the pitch.”18

Nelson began the Cardinal 1967 season as strictly a relief pitcher. A catastrophe struck the Cardinals on July 15th when ace Bob Gibson suffered a broken leg. After Gibson left the game, Briles lost in relief. It was Briles’ 34th relief appearance of the season. With Gibson down, Red made Nelson a starting pitcher. Briles made one more relief appearance and then moved into the starting rotation for the rest of the 1967 season.19

Nellie lost his first game as a starter, won his second game and lost his third game. He then went on a tear, winning his next nine decisions. His victories included a 9-0 shutout at San Francisco against the Giants.20

When in San Francisco, Nellie usually tried to join his older brothers Ray and Bob in Sacramento. Bob was a professional musician Their Ray-Bob combo played local clubs. Nelson would join them, playing the guitar and singing several songs.21

The Cardinals continued to use Briles as a starting pitcher when Gibson returned on Labor Day. At the end of the season, Nelson’s record stood at 14-5 with a 2.43 ERA. His record left him with the highest winning percentage (.737) in the NL.22 Briles’ Cardinal teammate Dal Maxvill later remembered, “Without Nellie there’s no way we would have won the pennant that year.”23

The Cardinals played the Boston Red Sox in the 1967 World Series. The Redbirds scheduled Nelson to start Game 3 in St. Louis. Game 3 was the first World Series game played in the Cardinals’ new Busch Memorial Stadium. The game would be played in front of a standing-room crowd of 54,575, making it the largest crowd ever to see a big league game in St. Louis.24

All of Nellie’s family came in from California to watch him pitch in the World Series. They didn’t have a lot of money, so they stayed with Nelson’s wife. Nellie ended up sleeping on floor. Briles mused later, “I’m starting a World Series game, the first one in my life, and I am sleeping on the floor of the living room so my mother could have a bed.”25

Briles started Game 3, pitching for an angry team. In Game 2, Boston’s Jim Lonborg threw his first pitch close to left fielder Lou Brock’s head. As veteran sportswriter Red Smith later described the pitch: “it bore straight and true for the right ear of Brock.” Lonborg went on to a convincing 5-0 victory. Red Sox Triple Crown outfielder Carl Yastrzemski hit two home runs.

Several irate Cardinal players vowed revenge. Center fielder Curt Flood promised that the Cardinals would “get Yastrzemski.” They believed Lonborg intentionally threw at Brock. Briles started the first inning in Game 3 by retiring the first two Boston batters. Yastrzemski batted third. Briles threw a first pitch that hit Yastrzemski on the leg. Carl glared at Briles as Boston Manager Dick Williams immediately popped out of the dugout to protest. The umpires quickly took firm control of the potential duster duel by informing both managers that any additional hint of throwing at batters would result in stiff fines. Although several additional flare-ups occurred, Briles went on to a 5-2 complete game victory. He allowed seven hits and walked none. 26

Briles also pitched in relief in Game 6. The Cardinals were losing 4-2 in the sixth. He pitched two shutout innings.27 For the 1967 WS, Briles compiled a 1-0 record and posted a 1.64 ERA in 11 innings pitched.28

Reflecting later on his 1967 World Series experience, Briles said, “You realize you are the world champions that you’ve won the World Series but the importance of that doesn’t really sink in until you’ve had a chance to think about it over the winter. And you hear people talk about it and how special it is, and how few people are able to enjoy that as a player. And what a special relationship for the players on the team and the fans, and the character of the club, the blended talent, is something that a lot of teams never capture. And the luster of that memory continues to grow, and it was something in your life that can never be taken away. You were on a team that was so special for that frozen moment in time.”29

Nelson spent most of the 1967-1968 off-season relaxing with his family. He also made speaking appearances at many banquets and meetings. He later estimated he made “102 speaking appearances—98% of them gratis. I felt I owed a good bit to many people who had been kind to me as a kid on the West Coast,” he related.30

Nelson ended 1967 with a nine-game consecutive win streak. He began 1968 by winning his first four starts bringing his consecutive game win streak to 13. Briles finally lost his first game on May 2 at Houston.31

Briles’s pitching could be simply overwhelming, as illustrated by his early June victory at Houston. His first seven strikeouts all came on called third strikes. He finished with eight of his 10 strikeouts coming on called third strikes. Houston Manager Grady Hatton later complained, “Five times we took a called third strike with men on base.”32

Joined by several other players, Briles continued playing and singing, primarily within the clubhouse and on long plane rides. His teammates enjoyed and often joined in their offerings. The informal bands also ended up playing at several charitable events around the St. Louis area.33

The 1968 season was the best regular season performance in Briles’ 14-year baseball career, as the Cardinals won their second straight National League pennant. His 19 wins represented his career single-season high. Nelson established new career highs for innings pitched (243 2/3), complete games (13) and strikeouts (141). His innings pitched total was 88 1/3 innings more than he pitched in 1967. He finished his regular season with 33 pitching appearances, a 19-11 record and a 2.81 ERA.34

The 1968 World Series pitted the Cardinals against the Detroit Tigers. Schoendienst scheduled Briles to start Game 2. Gibson opened the Series with another dominating victory in Game 1. The Tigers rebounded to bludgeon Briles and the Cards 8-1 in Game 2. Nelson worked 5 1/3 innings and allowed four runs.

During the Game 2 loss, Briles suffered the ultimate humiliation for a pitcher. In the third inning, with the Tigers leading 1-0, Tigers’ pitcher, Mickey Lolich, “tomahawked” a high pitch into left field for a homerun. The blast was the first home run in Lolich’s professional career. Briles took full responsibility for the loss, noting that he made too many high pitches. “I didn’t have good stuff, so I tried to finesse them but I just wasn’t adequate.”35

Briles and Lolich opposed each other again in Game 5 played in Detroit. St. Louis needed only one more victory to win the World Series. The Cardinals jumped on Lolich immediately plating three runs in the first. The Tigers scored two runs in the fourth. The fifth inning brought a controversial play for St. Louis as Lou Brock tried to score from second base but was out on a close play.

Briles started the seventh inning with the Cardinals leading, 3-2. Lolich again got a critical hit off Briles as he hit a blooper into right with one out. Schoendienst immediately brought in left-handed reliever Joe Hoerner to face the left-handed Northrup. The move backfired as the Tigers scored three runs and won the game 5-3.36

Briles finished the 1968 World Series with a 0-1 record and a 5.56 ERA in 11 1/3 innings pitched. He later reflected on the disappointing 1968 series and pointed out that the Cardinals led the Series 3-1 and still lost. “That’s one of those things that are still hard to swallow. We had back-to-back world championships within our reach, and it slipped through our fingers,” he said.37

All major league pitchers began their 1969 season adjusting to a significant pitching rule change. After a season that saw very little hitting, the pitcher’s mound was lowered from 15 inches to 10 inches. Briles immediately recognized that the new rule directly affected him, particularly his overhand curve ball. Without the leverage of the mound, his fastball would also slow down.

“It’s going to take more energy and more concentration too. I’m a low-ball pitcher and I’ve really got to make sure I get out in front with my breaking ball, to get my body behind it and not pitch with my arm.”38

Nelson began 1969 pitching poorly, particularly during the first half of the season. As he predicted, he struggled with his curveball and began using his slider more.39 He did much better in the latter part of the season and finished 1969 with a 15-13 record in 227 2/3 innings. He started 33 games and ended with a 3.52 ERA.40

Nelson experienced a number of leg injuries that restricted him in 1970. He ended up pitching 106 2/3 innings, 121 innings less than 1969. Nelson’s 6.24 ERA exceeded his 1969 total by over two runs a game. Briles started only 19 games in 1970 as opposed to 33 the prior year. He finished 1970 with a 6-7 record.41

In early 1971, the Cardinals unexpectedly traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Briles and his growing family were stunned as his six-year Cardinal baseball career abruptly ended.42

He ended his Cardinal tenure with a 61-54 record and a 3.42 ERA. In his 234 appearances, Briles pitched 116 games in relief and 118 games as a starting pitcher. He accumulated 969 2/3 innings with the Cardinals.43

Briles began his 1971 season with the Pirates. He decided to drop his no-windup delivery in spring training and go back to the full windup he used earlier in his career. He had experienced significant hamstring problems in 1970 and concluded his no-windup delivery may have been a factor in his problems. “I’m not big enough (5’ 11’, 195 lb). to get a lot of push off the lower mound,” he said.44

By the end of August, Nelson had appeared in 32 games, starting nine times and relieving in 23. The nature of Nelson’s pitching contribution changed dramatically in September when he started five games and did not make a relief appearance. The Pirates finished 12-2 in games that Nelson pitched as a starting pitcher and 19-18 in all of his 1971 appearances.

A pulled leg muscle during his last regular season appearance forced him out of action after only three innings against the Phillies. The Pirates won the National League Eastern Division title anyway, and faced San Francisco in the National League Playoffs. Briles did not see any competitive action for the next two weeks, including any playoff game against the Giants. Despite his inactivity, Pirates’ manager Murtaugh chose Nelson to start World Series Game 5 against the Baltimore Orioles, in Pittsburgh. The series was tied at 2-2.45

Briles went out and pitched his best game of his season. He threw a complete game 5-0 shutout against the Orioles, allowing only two hits and walking two. Nelson also got a key single, driving in one of the Pirates’ four runs. After the game, Briles publicly acknowledged the unwavering support of the Pirates’ organization and his family.46 The Pirates went on to win the 1971 World Series, erasing a 3-1 deficit.

A New York Times reporter also asked why he sometimes fell off the mound when he delivered a pitch. “I don’t know why I fall,” Briles said. I’ve done it quite a bit the last couple of years. It’s probably because of the lowering of the mound and when I reach back for a little more.”47

Briles’ successful World Series appearance also led to invitations to sing and play at several nationally known nightclubs, including Mr. Kelly’s on Chicago’s Rush Street. He received good reviews from several critics.48

Briles again found himself in a battle for a 1972 starting pitcher berth.49 Nelson appeared in the fourth game of the season as a relief pitcher. However, it would be his only relief appearance of the season. His next 27 appearances would all be as a starting pitcher.

Nelson ended the 1972 regular season with a 14-11 record and a 3.08 ERA in 195 2/3 innings.50

Pittsburgh faced the Cincinnati Reds in the 1972 National League Championship Series (NCLS), and lost the Series 3-2. Briles pitched in Game 3 and went six innings and allowed two runs (3.00 ERA). The Pirates won the game but Briles did not get the victory.51

Going into 1973, the Pirates announced that Nelson was going to be in their starting rotation. It was a difficult year for the Pirates, beginning with the death of superstar Roberto Clemente in an air crash, the collapse of Steve Blass’s pitching, and a managerial change. The team finished third, 80-82. By the end of the year, Briles’ record stood at 14-13 record with a 2.84 ERA. The Pirates team season record was 17-16 when Nelson started games. He ended the season leading the team in victories (14), complete games (7), earned-run average (2.84), starts (33) and innings pitched (219).52

During the winter of 1972-1973, Briles resumed his singing career. In November 1973, he sang the National Anthem before World Series Game 4 in Shea Stadium.53 In December, the Pirates traded Briles to the Kansas City Royals.54

Briles began the 1974 season as a starting pitcher for the Royals. He suffered a series of knee injuries and finished 1974 with 18 appearances, 103 innings pitched, a record of 5-7, and a 4.02 ERA. He appeared 17 times as a starting pitcher and relieved only once. The Royals were 7-11 in Briles’ 1974 appearances.55 The team, however, finished in fifth place in the American League West, with a 77-85 record.56

In 1975, Briles suffered an elbow injury that again disrupted his season. He ended the year with 24 appearances, 112 innings pitched, a 6-6 record and a 4.26 ERA. He started 16 games and relieved in eight others. The Royals were 15-9 when Nelson appeared. The Royal improved to second place with a 91-71 mark.57 In early November, the Royals traded Briles to the Texas Rangers.58

Nelson began the 1976 season as a Ranger starting pitcher. He appeared in 32 games, pitched 210 innings, and posted an 11-9 record with a 3.26 ERA. His 31 starting appearances included seven complete game victories. His innings pitched total nearly doubled his 1975 mark.59 During the winter, Nelson was honored at the annual winter baseball banquet in Fort Worth as the Ranger “Pitcher of the Year” for 1976.60 The team, however, finished in fourth place with a 76-86 record.

Nellie started 1977 with the Rangers and ended up with the Orioles. Briles finished the 1977 season with a 6-4 record and a 4.33 ERA. In his 30 appearances, he started 15 times and pitched 15 times in relief. 61

Nelson started eight times and relieved eight times for the Orioles in 1978. He pitched 54 1/3 innings and finished with a 4.64 ERA. He posted a 4-4 record. In January 1979, the Orioles released him.62 Briles spent the 1979 spring training with the New York Mets but did not win a roster spot. He did not pitch in the MLB again.63

Over his 14-year major league career, Nelson posted a 129-112 record with a career 3.44 ERA. He appeared in 452 games and pitched 2,111 2/3 innings.64

Briles quickly began his post-baseball career in Pittsburgh doing part-time television analysis for the Pirates. From 1981-1983, Nelson provided analysis for the Game of the Week broadcast on the USA Cable Network. He subsequently worked three years broadcasting Seattle Mariners games.65

While he appeared on television, Nellie also worked as an executive for Jones and Brown, Inc., a wholesale distribution company based in Pittsburgh. Briles became a full-time Pirate employee in 1986 working as Director of Corporate Sales. He then became a Vice President of Corporate Projects. These projects included running the Pirates alumni association.66 The Pennsylvania State Sports Hall of Fame inducted Nelson in 1994.67

Briles died at age 61 of a heart attack on February 14, 2005, as he played in the annual Pirates alumni golf tournament. He was survived by his wife Ginger; his mother Nyle, his four children; and eight grandchildren.68 Many of Briles’ former Pirate teammates attended the funeral, including Roberto Clemente’s son, Luis.69 Briles was buried in St. Clair Cemetery in Greensburg, Pennsylvania.70

A Pittsburgh-Post Gazette 2005 editorial said, “Nelson Briles will be remembered as a good ballplayer; a good front-office man and simply a good guy.”71

 

Notes

1 TheDeadballEra.com: The Obit for Nelson Briles, http://www.thedeadballera.com/Obits/Obits_B/Briles.Nelson.html

2 John Ferguson, “ Think, Then Throw—That’s How Briles Fools Texas Hitters,” The Sporting News, August 22, 1964, 37

3 Neal Russo, “Redbird Nellie Still Waits for Ol’ Sol to Shine,” The Sporting News, August 30, 1964, 9

4 Baseball-reference.com, Nelson Briles Pitching Statistics, 1965-1978

5 Baseball-reference.com, Nelson Briles, Postseason pitching statistics, 1967, 1971

6 Ferguson, Think, Then Throw, 37

7 Neal Russo, “Sun Always Shines with Nellie on Job,” The Sporting News, October 7, 1967, 7-8

8 Ibid.

9 Ibid.

10 Ibid.

11 Bob Broeg, “Bilingual Briles Talks the Language of a Winner,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 22,

1968, 5B

12 Neal Russo, “Sun Always…,7-8

13 Ibid.

14 John Ferguson, “Think, Then Throw—That’s How Briles Fools Texas Hitters,” The Sporting News, August 22, 1964, 37

15 Baseball Reference.com, Nelson Briles Pitching Statistics, 1965 Gamelogs

16 John McMurray, “Nelson Briles: a key performer for three pennant winning clubs: before his untimely death last February, former pitcher reflected on his 14-year major league career,” Baseball Digest, May 2005

17 Baseball Reference.com, Nelson Briles Pitching Statistics, 1966 Pitching Gamelogs

18 Neal Russo, “Cards Convinced Wait Is Over: Sun About to Shine for Nellie,” The Sporting News, July 22, 1967, 10

19 Baseball Reference.com, Nelson Briles Pitching Statistics, 1967 Game Logs

20 Ibid

21 “Neal Russo, “Briles Family Stands Out With Voice or Instrument,” The Sporting News, October 7, 1967, 38

22 Baseball Reference.com, Nelson Briles 1967 Pitching Statistics

23 Rick Hummel, “Former Cardinal Nelson Briles dies,” STLtoday.com, National Baseball Hall of Fame (HOF), Briles Clippings File, 1/7/2013

24 Ralph Ray, “Briles Drives Second Nail Into Fading Bosox’ Coffin,” The Sporting News, October 21, 1967, 9

25 Peter Golenbock, The Spirit of St. Louis: A History of the St. Louis Cardinals and Browns, Harper Collins Publications, 2000, 489

26 Dan Desrochers and Bill Nowlin, “The 1967 Impossible Dream Red Sox: Pandemonium on the Field,”, Rounder Books, 2007, 357,359,360

27 Baseball Reference.com, 1967 World Series, October 11, Game 6, inning-by-inning, bottom of the fifth and sixth innings, Nelson Briles

28 Baseball Reference.com, Nelson Briles Postseason Pitching Gamelogs, 1967

29 Golenbock, The Spirit of St. Louis, 490

30 Bob Broeg, “Bilingual Briles Now Speaks In Terms of 20 Cardinal Wins, The Sporting News, March 9, 1968, 7

31 Baseball Reference.com, 1967 and 1968 Nelson Briles Gamelogs

32 “Leaves Astros Looking,” The Sporting News, June 22, 1968, 44

33 Neal Russo, “Redbirds Make Sweet Music,” The Sporting News, August 31, 1968, 5

34 Baseball Reference.com, 1968 Nelson Briles Pitching Statistics

35 Oscar Kahan, “GAME 2, Bengals Rebound, Bomb Briles to Rout Cards, 8-1,” The Sporting News, October 19, 1968, 7

36 Lowell Reidenbaugh, “GAME 5, Lolich’s Bat, Arm Thwart Redbird Bid to End Series,” The Sporting News, October 19, 1968, 13

37 John McMurray, “Nelson Briles: a key performer for three pennant-winning clubs: before his untimely death last February, former pitcher reflected on his 14-year major league career.” FindArticles/Sports/Baseball Digest, May 2005, http://findarticles.com/p/articiles/mi_mOFFCIis_3_64/ai_nll3684036/?tag=content:col1, accessed 2/28/2012.

38 Oscar Kahan, “Pitchers Moan, Batters Skeptical of Low Hill,” The Sporting News, March 29, 1969, 5, 8, 30

39 Neal Russo, “Barrymore Briles Earning Applause With Slider Act,” The Sporting News, July 12, 1969, 7

40 Baseball Reference.com, 1969 Nelson Briles Pitching Statistics

41 Baseball Reference .com 1970 Nelson Briles Pitching Statistics

42 Donnelly, “Briles Not Much to Study, But He Gets the Job Done,” October 15, 1971, HOF Nelson Briles Clippings Files, 12/30/1012

43 Baseball Reference.com

44 “Briles Changes Style, The Sporting News, March 20,1971, 51

45 Lowell Reidenbaugh, “FIFTH GAME, Bit Player Briles Steals Show, Buccos Go One Up,” The Sporting News, October 30, 1971, 9,10

46 Ibid

47 HOF Briles Clippings File, Murray Chan, “It Was Enough to Make a Man Cry….Briles Did,” New York Times, October 15, 1971

48 HOF Briles Clippings File, accessed 12/27/2012, Maury Allen, “Nelson Briles’ Big Pitch In Show Biz,” Sports Today

49 Charley Feeney, “Bucco Hurlers Long on Confidence,” The Sporting News, March 18,1972, 33

50 Baseball Reference.com, 1972 Nelson Briles Pitching Statistics, Gamelogs

51 Earl Lawson, “Wild Pitch Sets Off Reds’ N.L Pennant Party The Sporting News, October 28, 1972 9,22

52 Baseball Reference.com, 1973 Nelson Briles Pitching Statistics, Gamelogs

53 Lowell Reidenbaugh, “Briles Sings Anthem,” The Sporting News, November 3, 1973,9

54 Charley Feeney, “Brown Puts Trading Rep To Severe,” The Sporting News, October 22, 1973,41

55 Baseball Reference.com, 1974 Nelson Briles Pitching Statistics, Gamelogs

56 Baseball Reference.com, 1974 Kansas City Royals

57 Baseball Reference.com, 1975 Kansas City Royals

58 Baseball Reference.com, 1975 Nelson Briles Pitching Statistics, Gamelogs, Transactions

59 Baseball Reference.com, 1976 Nelson Briles Rangers and Orioles Pitching Statistics, Gamelogs, Transactions

60 Randy Galloway, “Briles, Top Ranger Winner, Hears Trade Winds Blowing,” The Sporting News, February 19, 1977, 54

61 Baseball Reference ,com, 1977 Nelson Briles Pirate and Oriole Pitching Statistics and Gamelogs

62 Baseball Reference.com,1978 Nelson Briles Pitching Statistics, Gamelogs, Transactions

63 Joseph Durso, “Troubled Mets Facing Year of Decision,” The Sporting News, May 12,1979, 6

64 Baseball Reference.Com, Nelson Briles Career Pitching Statistics

65 Rick Hummel, “Former Cardinal Nelson Briles dies,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, February 12, 2005.

66 Howard Cole, “Where Are They Now, Nelson Briles,” Baseball Savvy.Com, Archives, http://www.baseballsavvy.com/archive/w_newNellie.html

67 Nate Guidry “Obituary: Nelson Kelly ‘Nellie’ Briles/Former Pirates pitcher and front-office official,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, February 14, 2005, HOF Briles Clippings File, accessed 12/30/2011.

68 DeadballEra.com. The Obit For Nelson Briles

69 HOF Briles Clippings File, “Pirates, friends say farewell to Briles,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 2/22/05

70 Baseball Reference.Com, Nelson Briles

71 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 02/28/2005 Editorial Page, HOF Briles Clippings File, 1/7/2013

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