Ever see Nick Swisher without a smile on his face? Every day at the ballpark, he’s bouncing around, signing autographs for fans, doing secret handshakes with security guards and cops, pumping up teammates for the game, and it seems as if he simply enjoys life. But where did Swish get all of his swagger? What some may not know is baseball is in his blood. Swish salutes his father, Steve Swisher, as somewhat responsible as for where the Yankee right fielder stands today.
Steven Swisher was drafted in the first round in 1973 by the White Sox, after being named an All-American baseball player at (THEE) Ohio State University. Swish Senior was a catcher for the Cubbies from ’74-’77, for the Cardinals from ’78-’80, then caught for the two remaining years for the Padres, where he finished out his playing career. Over the years averaging about a .205 BA and was an All-Star selection in 1976 but didn’t see any playing time (C’mon they couldn’t get him in during the later innings? They have pretty much a different lineup for each inning of the All-Star Game).
After his playing career had come to an end, Swish Sr. stayed involved with the game. He was the Mets bullpen coach during the 90’s and managed the Waterloo (Iowa) Indians in ’85 and ’86. They were a minor league affiliate of the Cleveland Indians in the Midwest League and in ’86 were league champions. He managed for a total of 11 years in the minor leagues. Nick, then a young boy, hung around the dugout all the time, leaving baseball as a lasting impression on him and hope to follow in his father’s footsteps.
Swish Jr. also played baseball at (THEE) Ohio State University where he was named Big 10 Freshman of the Year in 2000, All-Big 10 selection at first base in 2001, and earned All-Big 10 honors in the outfield in 2002. Swisher was then drafted as first round pick by the Oakland Athletics in 2002. He set an Athletics record for home runs by a switch-hitter and ranked tied for eighth in the American League in homers and sixth in walks. After a short one year stint with the White Sox, we (Yanks) got him in 2009, along with a World Series Ring.
I believe Nick is an underrated power switch-hitter and a multi-dimensional artful fielder: the guy plays a great right field and first base and can even pitch! He is an utter asset to the team chemistry, both physically (he has HUGE biceps under that jersey) and mentally/socially (every Yankee would admit his big personality and presence in the clubhouse). He and Raul Ibanez are tied in leading the squad in runs batted in with 27. Along with being “Swishalicious”, never denying a fan of an autograph or picture, he plays with heart. After all, he learned from the best (his dad) how to work hard and the Swisher Swag blood is pulsating through his veins each and every time he puts on the pinstripes.