November 17 – Happy Birthday Jeff Nelson

The great Yankee teams of the late nineties won four World Series because of their bullpens. I’m not just referring to the closers on those teams either. Granted, there was nobody better at getting the last three outs than John Wetteland in 1996 and the great Mariano ever since, but those guys needed a lead to do their job and it was the great Yankee set-up relievers who made that possible. I’m talking about Rivera himself, when he setup for Wetteland, then Mike Stanton, Graeme Lloyd, Ramiro Mendoza and today’s birthday boy, Jeff Nelson. Born in Baltimore in 1966, there was no better right-handed setup man in baseball from 1996 through 2000, than this baby-faced, 6′ 8″ right-hander with a wicked curve. Yankee Manager, Joe Torre never hesitated to insert Nelson in tight ball games whenever an important out was needed with a tough right-handed hitter at the plate. Nelson pitched in 307 regular-season games during that span and almost fifty more during Yankee post season play. Nelson hated to lose and his smart-alecky personality could drive Torre crazy at times, but far more often than not, he got the out the Yankees needed to get at big moments in big games. During the last decade, we Yankee fans have come to realize how difficult it can be to find new Jeff Nelson’s to add to our bullpen. Nelson’s last year in the big leagues was 2006 with the White Sox.

Nelson shares his November 17th birthday with this long-ago Yankee manager and this former Yankee broadcast booth partner of the “Scooter.”

Year Tm W L W-L% ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
1996 NYY 4 4 .500 4.36 73 0 27 0 0 2 74.1 75 38 36 6 36 91 1.493
1997 NYY 3 7 .300 2.86 77 0 22 0 0 2 78.2 53 32 25 7 37 81 1.144
1998 NYY 5 3 .625 3.79 45 0 13 0 0 3 40.1 44 18 17 1 22 35 1.636
1999 NYY 2 1 .667 4.15 39 0 8 0 0 1 30.1 27 14 14 2 22 35 1.615
2000 NYY 8 4 .667 2.45 73 0 13 0 0 0 69.2 44 24 19 2 45 71 1.278
2003 NYY 1 0 1.000 4.58 24 0 3 0 0 1 17.2 17 9 9 1 10 21 1.528
15 Yrs 48 45 .516 3.41 798 0 237 0 0 33 784.2 633 329 297 55 428 829 1.352
SEA (8 yrs) 24 23 .511 3.26 432 0 139 0 0 23 447.1 353 177 162 32 232 471 1.308
NYY (6 yrs) 23 19 .548 3.47 331 0 86 0 0 9 311.0 260 135 120 19 172 334 1.389
TEX (1 yr) 1 2 .333 5.32 29 0 9 0 0 1 23.2 17 16 14 3 19 22 1.521
CHW (1 yr) 0 1 .000 3.38 6 0 3 0 0 0 2.2 3 1 1 1 5 2 3.000
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/18/2013.

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