Friday, November 20, 2009

1951 Bowman #113 Bill "Swish" Nicholson

For my birthday in early October, my Dad added three more '51 Bowmans to the growing Phillies team set. This is one of them. Swish was born on December 11th - a very good day.

Swish played the final five seasons (1949-1953) of his 16-season career with the Phillies, serving mainly as a left-handed power bat off the bench. He gained his nickname due to his penchant for seemingly either striking out or hitting a home run each time at-bat. Swish wore #12 during his days with the Phils - the number most recently worn by another Phillie, also a left-handed power bat off the bench, with a penchant for strike outs and home runs.

Before his stint with the Phillies, Swish was a five-time All-Star with the Chicago Cubs, twice leading the league in home runs and RBIs (1943 & 1944).

Swish missed the 1950 pennant race and World Series, due to his struggles with diabetes. He retired following the 1953 season with 235 career homers and 948 career RBIs.

Did You Know?: On July 23, 1944, after hitting four consecutive home runs against the Giants in a double header, Swish was intentionally walked with the bases loaded in the 7th inning of the second game. The Giants would hang on to defeat the Cubs, 12-10. He is one of only six players in Major League history to be intentionally walked with the bases loaded. Barry Bonds (1998) and Josh Hamilton (2008) are the two most recent players in this group of six.

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