The UConn baseball program has never been a force in NCAA athletics with the exception of a few strong seasons and some individual stars mixed in over the years. One of the most well-known UConn baseball products is 14-year major league veteran Charles Nagy, who retired from playing in 2003. Since 2009, Nagy has been the pitching coach for the Columbus Clippers (Cleveland\’s AAA affiliate), but has just gotten his break in the majors. Nagy was named the Arizona Diamondbacks pitching coach on Tuesday and will look to take the knowledge he gained from his 297 major league starts and apply it to a fairly young pitching staff. Born in Bridgeport, Nagy is not only a UConn alum, but a home grown CT product and in the baseball world, there aren\’t many that fit into that category.
In the history of the UConn baseball program, 135 players have been drafted or signed as free agents in professional baseball, just 11 players have appeared in the majors and only 3 of those have had a 10+ year career (Roberto Hernandez, Walt Dropo and Charles Nagy). For a program with limited exposure on a high level, Nagy has been a point of pride for years. While in college, Nagy played 2 seasons with the Huskies (1987 and 1988) and sits 2nd in single-season strikeouts all-time with 113 and was voted an All-American in the 1988 season. After that year, Nagy was drafted 17th overall in the 1st round of the amateur draft and spent the next 2 seasons working up to his debut in June of 1990. In a sport where players get traded and released on a whim, Nagy spent 13 seasons as a major leaguer for the Cleveland Indians, before ending his career with 1 season in San Diego playing for the Padres.
In his 14 major league seasons, Nagy went 129-105 with a 4.51 era and collected 1,242 strikeouts. He became a household name in the Cleveland area and was selected to 3 All-Star games (1992, 1996 and 1999) and was the AL starter in the 1996 game. He finished in the top 7 in Cy Young award voting 3 times (1992, 1995 and 1996) and appeared in 15 post-season games throughout his career. Nagy was a solid MLB player for an extended period of time and deserves the chance he is getting in Arizona. As a UConn alum and CT native, Nagy holds a special place in my heart and I wish him the best of luck with the D-Backs.