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William Nicholson

Class of 1936

William was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1981. His citation is below:

William Beck “Swish” Nicholson, a native of Kent County, Maryland, reached heights not shared by many former Washington College athletes. During his college career, he was outstanding in football, basketball and certainly baseball.

In 1934, Bill sparked the football team to its only undefeated season, scoring 50 points as a slashing fullback and deadly kicker. He was selected to the All-Maryland teams of 1934 and 1935. In basketball, he performed effectively at guard for two years.

It was on the baseball diamond as an outfielder that Bill attained his greatest success, leading the 1935 team to twelve wins, one loss and one tie, and the Maryland Collegiate League Championship.

After graduating in 1936, Bill began what was to become a 17-year career in professional baseball, playing for the Chicago Cubs until 1948 and with the Philadelphia Phillies through 1953. So vicious was his left handed swing that he earned the nickname “Swish” soon after joining the Phillies. He was considered one of the-most dangerous long ball hitters in the National League and banged out 235 home runs during his career. He was named to four National League All-Star teams and played on two league championship teams, the Cubs in 1945 and the Phillies in 1950. He led the National League in home runs and runs batted in during the 1943 and 1944 season, and was runner-up for most valuable player honors in 1944.

Failing health at the height of his career forced Bill to leave baseball, and he retired to life on his farm near Chestertown.

INDUCTED October 9, 1981.