On June 10, 1944, at the age of 15 years, 316 days, Joe Nuxhall became the youngest player to ever appear in a Major League game. As a result of the player shortages during World War II, Nuxhall was called up by the Cincinnati Reds organization to fill in for one game. The St. Louis Cardinals were already winning 13-0 in the ninth inning at Crosley Field when the left-handed pitcher was called into the contest. Nuxhall retired the first batter he faced on a groundout, but was unable to get out of the inning, giving up five walks, two hits, a wild pitch, and five runs.
Nuxhall spent the rest of the season in the minor leagues, but he eventually made his way back up to the Reds organization in 1952. Upon his retirement as a player in 1967, Nuxhall became a radio broadcaster for the Reds, a career he continued until his death in 2007.
4 thoughts on “This day in baseball: Nuxhall’s debut”
Wow, that was a lot riding on almost 16 year old shoulders – literally and figuratively.
i’d like to see the nuxhall story turned into a movie, especially the 1962 season. that was when him and jim brosnan were both reds at crosley field. brosnan of “the long season” and that other one he wrote. maybe the two best examples of realism in baseball literature.
That would be pretty great. Even if they just made a movie of his debut as the youngest player ever, when you include the story of baseball during WWII, it would be a heck of a story.