Thursday, August 30, 2012

Final Card: Dick Nen

Here's the last we saw of Dick Nen (#591). It's also the last time most of us thought about Nen, until years later when Robb Nen began pitching for the Marlins in the early 1990s. "I wonder if he...?" (Yes, he is.)

Dick Nen was signed by the Dodgers in 1961 and played 1st base in their farm system from 1961-64, while getting a 7-game cup of coffee with LA in September 1963.

After the 1964 season, Nen was one of FIVE players (along with pitchers Phil Ortega and Pete Richert, 3rd baseman Ken McMullen, and 1960 NL Rookie of the Year Frank Howard) traded to the Senators for pitcher Claude Osteen and infielder John Kennedy.

Dick played 82 games in the minors in 1965, but still managed to start more games at 1st base for Washington than their other 1st basemen (Bob Chance and Joe Cunningham). He shared the 1st base job for the next 2 seasons with Ken Harrelson (1966) and rookie Mike Epstein (1967), but played slightly less than either of them.

Nen was sold to the Cubs on April 3rd, 1968 and became Ernie Banks' backup for that season, starting 15 games at 1st, while giving Banks a late-inning rest in another 3 dozen games. He was sold back to the Senators after the season, and spent the next 4 seasons playing for their AAA team, although he returned to the big club for 6 games in June 1970.

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