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Rod Nichols

Burlington native Rod Nichols pitched a total of 100 games for the Cleveland Indians, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Atlanta Braves during his seven seasons in the Majors. He finished with an 11-31 record and 4.43 ERA, hurling 412.2 innings, striking out 214 batters while walking 121.

Born on December 28, 1964, Nichols’ family moved away from Iowa when he was about 3 years old. He graduated from high school in New Mexico in 1982 and went on to play baseball for three seasons at the University of New Mexico.

Nichols debuted in the Majors on July 30, 1988 at the age of 23 with the Cleveland Indians. From 1988 to 1992 he made 48 starts and 43 relief appearances, compiling an 11-30 record with a 4.39 ERA. Cleveland struggled during that span, and the team’s worst season was in 1991 when they finished 57-105. Nichols went 2-11 in that dismal season with Cleveland.

On January 15, 1993, Nichols signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers, but he spent most of that season with Triple-A Albuquerque where he posted a 4.30 ERA and a record of 8-5.

Nichols signed with the Kansas City Royals in 1994 and once again played the entire season with the team’s minor-league affiliate in Omaha. His next and final appearance in the Big Leagues came in 1995 when he pitched in five games for the Atlanta Braves. He retired from baseball in 1997 after pitching a year in Japan.

Nichols might have retired as a player, but he returned to baseball as a coach. He most recently served as the pitching coach for the Iowa Cubs (2016-2019), the Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs.

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