This day in baseball: Cincinnati signs Nuxhall

Having obtained his parents’ permission, Joe Nuxhall signed a contract with the Cincinnati Reds on February 18, 1944 at the age of fifteen years old.  Nuxhall would become the youngest player ever to appear in a major league game, tossing 2/3 of an inning for Cincinnati that June, with forty-nine days to go until his sixteenth birthday.

joe nuxhall

Joe Nuxhall (MLB.com)


This day in baseball: Nuxhall’s debut

On 10 June 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.

joe nuxhall

Nuxhall (MLB.com)

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.