The muscular 6-ft, 205-pound Bill 'Swish' Nicholson created headline news with his power-hitting during the 1940s for the Chicago Cubs. He was quickly nicknamed ‘Swish’ by Wrigley Field’s fans for his mighty cuts while taking a menacing aim at the opposing pitcher when he first walked just outside of the batters’ box. Cub fans would chant ‘Swish, Swish, Swish’ each time he waved his bat. And, Nicholson was ready to send one deep into the right-field bleachers.
In his first full season, 1940, Bill Nicholson batted .297, had 98 RBIs, crashed 27 doubles, 7 triples and his 25 home runs were 2nd highest in the National League. The popular slugger was 3rd with 26 homers in 1941… 4th with 21 in ’42… and, led the league with 29 in 1943… then led the entire major leagues with 33 in 1944. He also led the league with 128 RBIs in ’43 and with 116 runs and 122 RBIs in ’44. Hitting .309 Bill Nicholson’s 30 Ds, 9 Ts, and 29 homers in 608 at-bats in 1943 vaulted him into the coveted Number 1 spot for extras base hits per/at-bat with almost one/in/every 8.7. And, Nicholson walked 71 times and 78 strikeouts.
By now, 1944, Swish Nicholson was capturing the attention of baseball fans across the states. He even improved on his extra base ratio this year. This time – 35 Ds, 8 Ts, and 33 Hrs in 582 at bats, for a ratio of about an extra base hit every 7.6 at bats. In 1943 Nicholson was 3rd in the Most Valuable Player voting to winner Stan Musial… in 1944 he lost by one point in the voting to Marty Marion of the Cards. In 1945 Bill Swish Nicholson hit 28 double and 13 doubles to help the Cubs win their last pennant of the 1900s. in a losing cause in Detroit’s 7-game Series win, he went 6-for-28, with one double, one triple and led both teams with 8 RBIs. Bill Nicholson played a total of 16 seasons, had over 500 extra base hits and walked almost as much as he struck out – an even 800 Walks and 820 Ks. After been traded to the Phillies prior to the ’49 season, Swish numbers fell off, and he played swing man in the outfield and was used as a pinch-hitter. Bill Nicholson career stats - .268 BA, 272 Ds, 60 Ts, 235 Hrs, 837 Runs, 948 RBIs, .465 slugging percentage, 1484 Hits in 5546 at bats spanning 1677 games.