“Swish” Nicholson

A Biography of Wartime Baseball’s Leading Slugger


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About the Book

This is the first biography of Bill “Swish” Nicholson, a Cubs favorite and baseball’s top slugger during the World War II era. Only days out of college in 1936, Nicholson went straight to the majors, putting in a brief appearance for Connie Mack’s Philadelphia A’s before he was optioned to the minors. His contract eventually purchased by the Cubs, Nicholson spent 10 years on the North Side of Chicago, where he would claim National League home run and RBI titles twice, earn spots on five National League All-Star teams, and play a pivotal role on the pennant-winning club of 1945. After Nicholson was traded to the Phillies, amid the dissenting cries of Cubs fans, he helped the 1950 Whiz Kids to the National League title with two dramatic pinch-hit home runs.
This balanced, carefully researched biography covers Nicholson’s life early and late, thoroughly describes his legendary feats of slugging, and gauges his accomplishments in light of the era in which played.

About the Author(s)

Robert A. Greenberg is a 1974 graduate of Washington College, Nicholson’s alma mater, and a member of SABR. A Circuit Court judge in Montgomery County, Maryland, he is married and has three children.

Bibliographic Details

Robert A. Greenberg
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 272
Bibliographic Info: 17 photos, statistics, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2008
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3274-5
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8360-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      v

Introduction      1

1. On Fancy Farm      5

2. Three Sport Man      17

3. Return from Annapolis      35

4. Mr. Mack and the A’s      44

5. Life in the Bushes      55

6. Back to the Big Leagues      72

7. Catalina to Chicago      78

8. The Last Prewar Season      92

9. Baseball, As Usual      102

10. Coming Into His Own      115

11. “Swish” and His Fans     124

12. The Supreme Compliment      132

13. The Year of the Billy Goat Curse      145

14. Benched      162

15. The Cubs in Decline      172

16. Farewell to the Windy City      181

17. The City of Brotherly Love      189

18. The Whiz Kids      200

19. The Giants Win the Pennant      208

20. Shakeup on the Phillies      213

21. Is There Life After Baseball?      218

Epilogue      233

Appendix—Bill Nicholson’s Regular Season Career Statistics and World Series Record      237

Chapter Notes      239

Bibliography      251

Index      255

Book Reviews & Awards

“thorough”—Sports Collectors Digest.