Wyatt: The one and only Rocky Nelson

From Daniel Wyatt at The National Pastime Museum on May 19, 2014:

The pro baseball career of Glenn “Rocky” Nelson began very uneventfully. In the spring of 1942, the 17-year-old, left-handed-hitting, left-handed-throwing first baseman from Ohio signed a St. Louis Cardinals contract and quickly was assigned to the Class D Johnson City Cardinals in the Appalachian League, where he hit a mediocre .253. Then in the fall, he was drafted into the U.S. Army for three years of World War II service.

Returning to baseball bigger and stronger at 5-foot-11 and 180 pounds in 1946, “The Rock” still didn’t make any real impression on anybody. After a brief stint with the AAA International League Rochester Red Wings in 1947, he was promptly sent down to B ball in Lynchburg, Tennessee, for more seasoning. Then in 1948, he returned to Rochester as their regular first baseman, hitting .303 with seven homers in 485 at-bats.

In 1949, at the age of 24, he finally got his big break with the Cardinals, playing in 83 games and platooning with righty Nippy Jones at first. Still not much power, though, he hit .221 with four homers. In 1950, more platooning. In 76 games, he hit one homer and a .247 batting average. Although reliable with the glove at first, Nelson was now branded as a line-drive, spray-hitter with no power, low batting average, and very few walks. Not the kind of first baseman that most teams wanted. And where else could you play a lefty?

Read the full article here: http://www.thenationalpastimemuseum.com/article/one-only-rocky-nelson-0

Originally published: May 19, 2014. Last Updated: May 19, 2014.