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C. J. Nitkowski
Doosan Bears — No. 25
Born: March 9, 1973 (1973-03-09) (age 36)
Suffern, New York
Bats: Left Throws: Left 
MLB debut
June 3, 1995 for the Cincinnati Reds
Career statistics
(through 2008 season)
Win-Loss     18-32
Earned run average     5.37
Strikeouts     347

Christopher John "C. J." Nitkowski (born March 9, 1973 in Suffern, New York) is a left-handed Korean Baseball Organization and former Major League Baseball pitcher.


Amateur career

Nitkowski attended Don Bosco Preparatory High School in Ramsey, New Jersey, graduating in 1991. Not drafted out of high school, he attended Florida Atlantic University for one year before transferring to St. John's University. The Cincinnati Reds made him the ninth overall pick in the 1994 Major League Baseball Draft.

Professional career

He made his Major League Baseball debut on June 3, 1995, with the Reds, and spent his earlier years as a starter before being converted to the bullpen. He has played for several other Major League teams including the Detroit Tigers, New York Mets, Houston Astros, Atlanta Braves, Texas Rangers, Washington Nationals and the New York Yankees. However, after the 2006 season where he played exclusively in Triple-A with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Nitkowski accepted a one-year contract tender with Nippon Professional Baseball's Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks. Here he found himself coached by the legendary Japanese home run hitter, Sadaharu Oh.[1] He played two seasons for the Hawks, but did not return to the team in 2009.[2] Nitkowski began the 2009 season with the SK Wyverns in South Korea[3], but was granted his release by the team on June 20.[4] On June 28, 2009, the Doosan Bears in South Korea claimed him off waivers.


On January 30, 2009, it was revealed that Nitkowski was interviewed by the FBI as part of the Bureau's investigation into the perjury case against Roger Clemens, whom he worked out with during his time with the New York Yankees, and also was trained by Brian McNamee, Clemens' principal prosecutor. Nitkowski, in a statement to the Associated Press (an organization he occasionally contributes to) said, "I have never seen Roger or Andy take any illegal performance-enhancing drugs. I have never talked to either of them about PEDs, nor do I have any firsthand knowledge of them taking any PEDs."

Nitkowski was one of the first major leaguers to maintain his own Web site, where he posted ongoing personal diaries about life in the big leagues. In many ways, his contributions anticipated the phenomenon of blogging, several years before that term became known to the general public.

Raised a Catholic, Nitkowski converted to evangelical Christianity following an incident in which his son nearly drowned in a swimming pool during spring training of 2002.[5]

He is the self-described "Bobby Fisher of Connect Four." [6]


External links



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