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Nelson Briles
Born: August 5, 1943(1943-08-05)
Dorris, California
Died: February 13, 2005 (aged 61)
Orlando, Florida
Batted: Right Threw: Right 
MLB debut
April 19, 1965 for the St. Louis Cardinals
Last MLB appearance
September 13, 1978 for the Baltimore Orioles
Career statistics
Win-Loss     129-112
Earned run average     3.44
Strikeouts     1163
Career highlights and awards
  • Led NL in won-loss % in 1967 with .737

Nelson Kelley "Nellie" Briles (August 5, 1943 in Dorris, California – February 13, 2005 in Orlando, Florida) was a pitcher in Major League Baseball who played for the St. Louis Cardinals (1965-70), Pittsburgh Pirates (1971-73), Kansas City Royals (1974-75), Texas Rangers (1976-77) and Baltimore Orioles (1977-78). Born in Dorris, California, he grew up in Chico, California where he played at Chico Senior High School and California State University, Chico before transferring to University of Santa Clara. Briles batted and threw right-handed.

In a 14-year career, Briles compiled a 129-112 record with a 3.44 ERA in 2,111 innings pitched. A finesse control pitcher, he posted a respectable 2.126 strikeout-to-walk ratio (1,163-to-547).




Playing career

Briles began his Major League career with the Cardinals as a reliever and spot starter. In 1967, he was promoted into the starting rotation after Bob Gibson suffered a broken leg when hit by a Roberto Clemente line drive on July 15. Briles responded by winning nine straight games, leading the National League in winning percentage (.737, 14-5) and the Cardinals staff in ERA (2.43). He also tossed a complete game for the Cardinals in Game 3 of their 1967 World Series win over the Red Sox.

In 1968, Briles won 19 games (a career-high) and 15 in 1969, but he slumped badly in the next two years. Before the 1971 season, the Cardinals traded Briles, along with Vic Davalillo to the Pirates for Matty Alou and George Brunet. He was 8-4 for the Pirates that season and pitched a complete-game two-hit shutout against Baltimore in Game 5 of the 1971 World Series. Briles won 14 in 1972 and 1973, and was sent to Kansas City. He also pitched with Texas and finished his career with the Orioles.


Following his retirement as a player, Briles returned to Pittsburgh and became a television sportscaster in 1979. He went to work for the organization in 1986 as director of corporate sales and he was also the director of the Pirates' annual fantasy camp.


Briles collapsed and died of an apparent heart attack in Orlando, Florida, while participating in the annual Pirates alumni golf tournament. He was 61.

See also


External links


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