He was a Major League baseball pitcher nicknamed “Nellie” born in Dorris, California, and growing up in Chico, California, who also had a brief entry into the musical world.
He studied at California State University and the University of Santa Clara. His baseball career lasted for 14 years, from 19th April 1965 to 13th September 1978, and during that time he played for the St. Louis Cardinals, Pittsburgh Pirates, Kansas City Royals, Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles respectively and pitched 2,111 innings with a 3.44 earned run average (ERA), earning a 129-112 record.
He could be heard singing on several occasions such as when he performed the National Anthem before Game Four of the World Series in 1973 and also when he released the single “Me and My Rock and Roll Heroes“/”She Was Waiting On the Corner “.
After his retirement he became a TV sportscaster for Pittsburgh and Seattle and in 1986 was given the position of Director of Corporate Sales for Pittsburgh as well as being Director of the Pirates’ fantasy camp held yearly. In 2003 he was honoured with the “Pride of the Pirates” lifetime achievement award.
When he was 61 years old he was taking part in an annual golf competition with the Pirates in Orlando, Florida, when he collapsed and died from a heart attack.