Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Jeff Nelson (baseball player)
Before the 2005 season, Seattle signed Nelson to a minor league contract, his third stint with the club. The reliever previously pitched with the Mariners from 1992-1995 and again from 2001-2003. He is Seattle's all-time record holder for most games pitched with 383 and has a 23-20 record with the Mariners. After the 2005 spring training, he made the 25-man roster.
Nelson is a respected slider specialist equally effective against batters from both sides of the plate. He is also known for his three-quarters sidearm delivery, and throws a cut 90-MPH fastball as well.
Before the 1996 season, Nelson was sent to the New York Yankees and returned to Seattle as a free agent in 2001. In that season he made the American League All-Star team. Nelson's All-Star selection was considered an innovative move by AL manager Joe Torre, as Nelson's role of middle relief was traditionally overlooked during All-Star selection. From 2001-2003, he formed the right side of Seattle's potent lefty/righty setup squad along with left handed pitcher Arthur Rhodes.
Nelson was traded to the Yankees during the 2003 midseason. In the postseason, he reinforced his prestige as a great reliever. Nelson pitched effectively against the Red Sox, Twins and Marlins, as the Yankees fell just short of the 2003 World Series title. Moreover, Nelson was unable to keep his usual cool off the mound. He engaged in a fist fight with a member of the Fenway Park grounds crew during the tumultuous Game 3 of the ALCS.
An outspoken pitcher
- Nelson has fallen out of favor with the Mariners and Yankees as a result of his frank criticisms. Oddly, he has almost always been vindicated in his analysis.
- During his first stint with the Mariners, Nelson blasted management for trading prospects pitcher Derek Lowe and catcher Jason Varitek, who led Boston to a championship in the 2004 World Series. As a result, he was sent to the Yankees.
- In 2000, Nelson told the New York press that Yankees manager and All-Star game skipper Joe Torre would regret not naming him to the AL team at the mid-summer classic. Then, he returned to Seattle as a free agent in 2001, where he produced the best season of his career and earned his coveted All-Star selection.
- In 2003, Nelson again blasted Seattle management when they failed to sign an impact player at the trading deadline. Then, Nelson was traded to the Yankees, where he played a pivotal role in the post season. The Mariners slowly lost the AL West lead and failed to make the post season by a very small margin. Further, the team's reluctance to spend money resulted in their collapse in 2004, when the Mariners lost 99 games.
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