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Nick Swisher

New York Yankees — No. 33
Right field / First baseman
Born: November 25, 1980 (1980-11-25) (age 29)
Columbus, Ohio[1]
Bats: Switch Throws: Left 
MLB debut
September 3, 2004 for the Oakland Athletics
Career statistics
(through 2009 season)
Batting average     .245
Home runs     133
Runs batted in     406
Hits     639
Career highlights and awards

Nicholas "Nick" Thompson Swisher (born November 25, 1980, in Columbus, Ohio) is a Major League Baseball outfielder and first baseman for the New York Yankees. Swisher is a switch hitter who throws left-handed.

He is the son of former major league catcher Steve Swisher, who played for various National League baseball clubs in the 1970s and 1980s. Swisher was born in Columbus, Ohio. He then grew up in Parkersburg, West Virginia after that. While attending Ohio State University, he played for their Division I baseball team.


Early life and career

Swisher was a two-sport star at Parkersburg High School in football and baseball as well as a letterman in basketball. As a strong safety he was recruited by several Division I-A colleges, including Notre Dame,[2] but chose to pursue baseball. Because he was not selected in the Major League Baseball Draft out of high school, he went to college and signed with Ohio State University, as that school and Ohio University were the only colleges to recruit him for baseball.[3] He was named Big 10 Freshman of the Year in 2000, after hitting .299 with 10 home runs and 48 RBIs. He was an All-Big 10 selection at first base as a sophomore in 2001, after hitting .322 with 56 RBIs and a league-leading 15 home runs. He earned All-Big 10 honors in the outfield in 2002, after batting .348 with 10 home runs and 52 RBIs. Swisher was selected by the A's with the Boston Red Sox first round pick in 2002 as compensation for the loss of free agent Johnny Damon.

Swisher, and the A's 2002 draft, are heavily featured in Michael Lewis' 2003 book Moneyball. In a book whose key theme is the gulf between orthodox baseball thinking and the new sabermetric influenced system being implemented by Billy Beane, Swisher was notable as one of the few examples of a player who traditional scouts and Beane could agree upon.

Professional baseball career


Minor league career

In 2005, Swisher led the minor leagues with 102 walks. [4]

Major league career

Swisher batting for the Athletics in 2005.

Oakland Athletics (2004-2007)

Swisher played in only 20 games during the 2004 season, and consequently was still considered to be in his rookie year in 2005. He finished 6th in the American League Rookie of the Year voting. His teammates Huston Street and Joe Blanton finished 1st and 7th, respectively.[5]

Following his rookie season, Swisher improved in most offensive categories. During the 2006 regular season, Swisher compiled a .254 batting average with 35 home runs. He also improved his on base percentage by raising it to .372, as well as boosting his slugging percentage to .493. Swisher finished second for the team in on base plus slugging behind the veteran slugger Frank Thomas. Swisher spent about half of his playing time in left field, and the other half at first base. The Oakland A's lacked both Dan Johnson and Erubiel Durazo for a large portion of the 2006 season, leaving room for Swisher to move back into his preferred position on a temporary basis.[6] During the season, Swisher had a column for about his various baseball experiences called Sophomore Year. This included multiple articles that pertained to his early MLB playing experiences, as well as the MLB Draft of 2002.[7]

Swisher has also exemplified a good amount of durability in contrast to his teammates who have spent a large portion of time on the disabled list. On September 16, Swisher initiated a brawl when he charged the mound after getting hit by a pitch from Texas Rangers pitcher Vicente Padilla. Earlier in the plate appearance, Padilla (who had hit Swisher the prior year) threw two inside pitches with the apparent intention of hitting Swisher. Both players were ejected following the brawl.

Chicago White Sox (2008)

Swisher as a White Sox player.

Swisher was traded on January 3, 2008 to the Chicago White Sox for three minor leaguers, including Ryan Sweeney and Gio Gonzalez, as part of what Athletics general manager Billy Beane termed a "rebuilding effort". [8] While Swisher quickly established himself as a fan favorite on his new team he struggled offensively, batting just .219 through the season (the lowest batting average in the majors), though he improved on his home runs from 22 in 2007 to 24 in 2008.[1][9] He also led the majors in pitches per plate appearance, with 4.51.[2] Because of his poor offensive play White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen benched Swisher for most of September, saying publicly that "I have to put the best lineup out there to win the game ... To me, the best lineup right now is without (Swisher)."

New York Yankees (2009-present)

Swisher salutes the crowd during roll call.

On November 13, 2008, Swisher and minor league pitcher Kanekoa Texeira were traded to the New York Yankees for utility man Wilson Betemit and minor league pitchers Jeffrey Marquez and Jhonny Núñez.[10] Nick Swisher would have been starting at first for the Yankees, at that point, if it had not been for the later signing of Angels first baseman Mark Teixiera, who took the starting role. At the end of spring training, manager Joe Girardi announced that Xavier Nady would be starting in right field while Swisher would be a bench player.[11] On April 9, 2009 against the Baltimore Orioles, Nick Swisher was started for the first time as a Yankee in right field, replacing Xavier Nady who was playing DH to give Hideki Matsui a rest. Swisher capitalized on this opportunity and had a great game, going 3 for 5 with a home run and tying his career high of five RBIs. Since Xavier Nady has been out with an injured elbow since April 14, 2009, Nick Swisher has been a regular starter for the Yankees in the outfield. Swisher's mohawk, known as the Swish-hawk, has also become very popular with Yankee fans. On April 13, 2009, in a game against the Tampa Bay Rays, Swisher pitched one inning in relief, allowing one hit and one walk before retiring the next three batters in a row in a 15–5 losing cause. This surprisingly adept performance, combined with his less-than-flattering media photo, earned Swisher the nickname 'Subway strangler' in the stands. He recorded a strikeout against Gabe Kapler in his first pitching appearance in the major leagues [12], as well as being the first Yankee position player to pitch since Wade Boggs in 1997 and the first Yankee to homer and pitch in the same game since Lindy McDaniel did it in Detroit on September 28, 1972.[13] On September 8, 2009, he hit a walk off home run against Tampa Bay giving the Yankees a 3-2 win. [14] During the Bleacher Creatures' roll call at the top of the first inning, Swisher is known to come to attention and salute the bleachers, evidenced by the photo at right. And now, as of November 4, 2009, he has a World Series Championship under his belt.

Personal life

Swisher's father Steve Swisher played 509 games in the major leagues with the Chicago Cubs (1974–77), St. Louis Cardinals (1978–80), and San Diego Padres (1981–82). He was a .216 lifetime hitter with 20 home runs and 124 RBIs. His father was also a first round draft pick, as he was selected by the Chicago White Sox with the 21st selection of the 1973 draft.

Swisher was very close to his paternal grandmother Betty Lorraine Swisher, who raised him after his parents' divorce and died from brain cancer in 2005; he has her initials tattooed on his chest surrounded by angel's wings and a halo. To honor her further, he let his hair grow for eleven months and donated it to Pantene Beautiful Lengths, a program that creates free wigs for cancer patients. On May 19, 2007, he cut his hair with assistance from his father.[15] His website,, is also dedicated to his grandmother.[16] He is well-known for touching his lips and pointing to the sky in her honor after he gets a hit as well as inking her initials on the bottom of his bats' knobs and kissing the letters when he comes to home plate. Also, while at bat, he looks into the sky before every pitch he receives in tribute to his grandparents. After his grandfather Don died in November 2008, Swisher began adding his initials to his bats as well. He has stated that he plans on getting another tattoo on his back in the same style as his existing one after the 2009 season to honor his grandfather.[17]

People magazine reported as of August 2009 that Swisher is dating Gossip Girl actress Joanna García.[18] They were seen together at the World Series Parade in New York City on November 6, 2009.[citation needed]

He appeared on the February 1, 2010 episode of How I Met Your Mother.[19]

See also


External links

Simple English

File:AAAA4866 Nick
Swisher during his time with the Chicago White Sox.

Nicholas "Nick" Thompson Swisher (born November 25, 1980 in Columbus, Ohio) is a American baseball player. He plays right fielder/First baseman for the New York Yankees of Major League Baseball (MLB).

Swisher is the son of former Major League Baseball player, Steve Swisher.

He is married to actress Joanna García.


Nick Swisher at Nick Swisher fan site


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