Johnny Niggeling
Pitcher
Born: (1903-07-10)July 10, 1903
Remsen, Iowa
Died: September 16, 1963(1963-09-16) (aged 60)
Le Mars, Iowa
Batted: Right
Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 30, 1938, for the Boston Bees
Last MLB appearance
September 1, 1946, for the Boston Braves
MLB statistics
Win–loss record64–69
Earned run average3.22
Strikeouts620
Teams

John Arnold Niggeling (July 10, 1903 – September 16, 1963) was an American professional baseball pitcher who appeared in 184 games in Major League Baseball over all or parts of nine seasons (19381946) with the Boston Bees and Braves, Cincinnati Reds, St. Louis Browns and Washington Senators. He was a right-handed knuckleball specialist who was listed as 6 feet (1.8 m) tall and 170 pounds (77 kg).

Born in Remsen, Iowa, Niggeling entered pro baseball in 1928 and promptly won 51 games over his first three minor league seasons. But his major-league debut would have to wait until April 30, 1938, when he was 34 years old. He had two brief National League trials with the 1938 Bees and 1939 Reds, totaling 4213 innings pitched, before he was acquired by the Browns in January 1940. In the American League over the next six seasons, Niggeling would exceed 150 innings pitched each year, win 56 games, and place in the Junior Circuit's top ten pitchers in earned run average three times (19421944), and strikeouts twice (1942 and 1944).

He won a career-high 15 games with the Browns in 1942 before joining the wartime Senators, who in both 1944 and 1945 fielded a starting rotation featuring four knuckleballers (Mickey Haefner, Dutch Leonard and Roger Wolff were the others). Niggeling's career won–lost record was 64–69 with a 3.22 ERA. In his 184 MLB games, 161 as a starting pitcher, he allowed 1,111 hits and 516 bases on balls, with 620 strikeouts, in 1,25023 innings of work; he was credited with 81 complete games and 12 shutouts. He retired from pro ball in 1947.

In later years, Niggeling worked as a barber in Le Mars, Iowa.[1]

Niggeling died at age 60 in LeMars, having committed suicide by hanging himself in his hotel room. He had been suffering from back pain the last few years of his life and was recently divorced from his wife.[1]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Thomas, Joan M. "Johnny Niggeling". sabr.org. Society for American Baseball Research. Retrieved January 24, 2020.