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Nick Willhite, 1941-2008
2008-12-18 07:17
by Bob Timmermann

Untitled Nick Willhite, who pitched for the Dodgers, Angels, Senators, and Mets in a five-year major league career, passed away in Alpine, Utah on Sunday from cancer at the age of 67.

According to the LA Times obituary, Willhite signed with the Dodgers in 1959 for a $50,000 bonus, but didn't reach the majors until 1963. Willhite threw a shutout in his major league debut, in the second game of a doubleheader against the Cubs on June 16, 1963.

The obituary also mentions that Willhite turned around a difficult post-baseball life.

Willhite bounced around from one job to another, working as a pitching coach at Brigham Young University and in the Milwaukee Brewers and New York Yankees organizations.

Divorced three times and living on the streets of Salt Lake City as a drug and alcohol addict, he reached out to another former Dodger pitcher, Stan Williams. Williams put him in touch with the Baseball Assistance Team, which helps former baseball players in need. Willhite entered a treatment center in 1989 and eventually became an addictions counselor.

2008-12-18 10:58:08
1.   Eric Stephen
In my quest to get a baseball card from every player to ever play a game for the LA Dodgers (all 714 of them I believe), the Nick Willhite card I have is the very one shown here: 1966 Topps.
2008-12-18 13:31:58
2.   Icaros
Quite the priorities you have there, ES. :-)
2008-12-18 16:37:40
3.   Eric Stephen
I will concede it is hard to meet women at the baseball card shop.
2008-12-18 17:58:42
4.   Bluebleeder87

Step one, we conceded to our inner most selves that we were card collectors...

your on your way young man.

2008-12-19 12:55:59
5.   popup
RIP Nick. I remember watching him pitch for the Dodgers at old Connie Mack Stadium in Philadelphia. He was a soft tossing lefty with a pretty good curve ball. I think he pitched a shutout against the Phillies in 1964 or 1965. I do believe it was a game I saw on tv from Dodger Stadium.

Stan from Tacoma

2008-12-19 23:53:27
6.   El Lay Dave
5 Probably this game, though he didn't quite finish it:
2008-12-20 16:37:31
7.   popup
Thanks El Lay. It is odd that I can remember games that happened over 40 years ago better than ones I saw last summer.

Stan from Tacoma

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