Get to know Nick Swisher
A fan favorite, Nick Swisher was acquired by the Yankees in 2008. Who was packaged with him? A guy named Texeira - no, not Teixeira. We'll explain that as part of 10 fun facts.
By Bobby Bonett
Nick isn’t the first Swisher to play in the bigs. His dad, Steve Swisher, played nine seasons in the majors for the Cubs, Cardinals and Padres, hitting .216 for his career. Swisher also honors his grandparents before each at-bat by looking toward centerfield before the pitch.
Johnny Damon was, in a way, responsible for Swisher getting drafted by the Athletics. As compensation for his free-agent signing with the Red Sox, the A’s received Boston’s first-round pick in the 2002 draft. They chose Swisher with it.
Swisher was one of the A’s prospects talked about in Michael M. Lewis’ book “Moneyball,” on Athletics manager Billy Beane’s approach to baseball. Swisher was one of 20 players that Beane targeted before the draft, and he managed to select him 16th overall.
In 2005, Swisher finished tied for sixth in Rookie of the Year voting with teammate Joe Blanton in the voting. Fellow Athletic Huston Street finished first, just ahead of current teammate Robinson Cano. Swisher hit .236 his rookie season with 21 home runs, 74 RBIs, 66 runs and a .322 on-base percentage.
His second season in Oakland, Swisher had a career year. He hit 35 home runs, drove in 95 runs, scored 106 runs, and finished with an OPS of .864. All of those numbers still stand as career highs except for OPS; he finished 2010 with an OPS of .870.
Swisher struggled in his lone season with the White Sox. He hit .219, which was the worst in the majors for players with at least 3.1 plate appearances per game - the minimum threshold to qualify for a batting crown. Chipper Jones finished first that year, 145 points higher than Swish.
The Yankees acquired Swisher with a Texeira - Kanekoa, not Mark Teixeira - as part of a five-player deal on Nov. 13, 2008. Texeira spent the 2009 season in the minor leagues with the Trenton Thunder, and was gone by 2009, selected by the Mariners in the Rule 5 Draft.
The final spot in the 2010 Home Run Derby was nabbed by Swisher. He was chosen over Jose Bautista who, at the time of the Derby, lead the majors in home runs. Swisher hit four home runs in the first round and was eliminated. David Ortiz ended up winning.
In December 2010, Swisher married Joanna Garcia. Garcia, an actress, played Cheyenne Hart-Montgomery on “Reba,” and is now one of the stars of ABC’s “Better With You.” She’s been acting since she was 10, was first credited in a 1992 episode of “Clarissa Explains It All,” and was first reported to be dating Swisher in August 2009.
Swish has been on three episodes of network sitcoms. First, he made an appearance on the Feb. 1, 2010 episode of “How I Met Your Mother.” (See a clip from the episode here.) And twice, he’s played himself in “Better with You,” the show his wife Joanna Garcia is on; once on Feb. 16, 2011, and again on Feb. 23.