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Today in White Sox History: May 17

Near-immortality for a short-time MLBer

Jerry Nyman


It was one of the few highlights in a dismal season. Sox pitcher Jerry Nyman one-hit the Senators, winning in Chicago, 6-0.

Nyman allowed only a one-out single in the second inning to Brant Alyea — a comebacker right through the box that Nyman could not get a glove on. Nyman also helped himself with the bat in that game hitting a bases-loaded double, knocking in three runs.

[I may have told this story over at SSHP or perhaps in the comments here, but it’s a short day of items for History and if we don’t stretch to 150 words, Google doesn’t pick up our feed.

Following in the footsteps of the great Michael Jordan, the slightly less-great Ross Baumgarten and the not-really-so-great-at-all Charlie Sheen, I was a student at the Mickey Owen Baseball School in the 1980s. Nyman was an instructor there, at the time in his early 40s; he’s basically my dad’s age. Mornings were drills, sometimes afternoons were drills as well, and the day ended, night or afternoon, with games, against summer league teams in the local Missouri area. Sometimes, there were no games at all, and we’d have intracamp scrimmages.

Nyman was pitching a scrimmage game one day, and he of course could still throw, maybe 75% of his MLB stuff? He took the first three innings or so, pitched against both teams, maybe got in 100 pitches. I was still pretty young for playing in that A-level game or whatever the designation. The only guy ahead of me at third base in camp was on the verge of making Team USA, HUGE dude, Ardmore, Okla., I’ve looked him up before but can’t place the name now. But I was the one who took Nyman deep! I was no home-run hitter, but this time I got into one and yanked it deep to left. Trotting around the bases, I remember Nyman staring me down, like, you little shit, but then he broke into a smile because he saw how sheepishly I was underselling it.

We actually got a little friendly during camp after that, I was there for two sessions and the weekend between sessions was super-desolate, and we had dinner together one night.—Brett]