Steve Nelson

Steve Nelson
usaUnited States
Pitcher, Utility
Past Teams
Chippewa Falls LumberJacks, Jim Falls Saints, Jim Falls Sturgeons, Tilden Tigers
Chippewa River Baseball League

Class of 2024

Utility, Pitcher

Jim Falls Saints 1980-86; Chippewa Falls Lumberjacks 1987-90; Jim Falls Sturgeons 1991-93, 95-98, 

2013-14, 16-18; Tilden Tigers 2006-11


One of the best all-around performers in CRBL history, Steve Nelson was a right-handed, two-way player who possessed a smooth and powerful swing, as well as a fluid and effortless delivery from the mound.

During a 29-season career in the CRBL that spanned over 40 years, “Pickle” was a dynamic hitting and pitching difference maker.  Moreover, when he wasn’t on the mound, he was often behind the plate, earning a reputation as a strong-armed, defensively talented catcher.  

Playing his first seven seasons for the Jim Falls Saints, Steve was a career .340 hitter across 1,000+ at-bats, hitting over .300 in 12 campaigns, including 11 seasons in a row from 1981 through 1991.  In four of those years, he hit .400 or better, with a personal best of .481 in 1984 (26 for 54).  Admirably, Steve also acted as player/manager for the Saints from 1981 to 1985.  

A consistent power threat, Nelson belted a league-leading 9 homeruns in 1986 to headline his other CRBL-leading totals of 32 RBIs and 29 runs scored in that year.  He also paced the CRBL in at-bats (70) and hits (29) in 1987, as well as doubles (10) and runs scored (26) in 1989.

On the mound, Pickle was known for his alchemy-like abilities to make the ball sink and run with command.  It wasn’t, however, until 1988 – his ninth season in the CRBL – that Nelson had extended time as a pitcher.  Chucking for the Chippewa Falls Lumberjacks, Steve went 6 and 2 over 48.1 innings with an ERA of 2.42 while leading the league in saves (1) and shutouts (2).  Nelson’s best season from the hill came for the Jim Falls Sturgeons in 1995 when he paced the CRBL with 85 innings, 9 wins, and 74 punch-outs.

After taking a break from CRBL play from 1999 to 2005, the Smooth Righty came back to roam with the Tilden Tigers from 2006 to 2011.  Steve then swam back to the Jim Falls Sturgeons in 2013, concluding his outstanding career after the 2018 season.  

Of course, Nelson’s talents resulted in a great deal of team success.  In total, he was a major contributor to five CRBL champions, five division winners, 13 WBA qualifiers, as well as three WBA Finals qualifiers.  In another testament to his longevity, Steve was named game MVP in two CRBL title contests, 19 years apart – 1988 with the Chippewa Falls Lumberjacks and again in 2007 with the Tilden Tigers. 

A 12-time CRBL All-Star, Nelson was also named Honorable Mention All-CRBL three times (2007 – P, 2011 – P, 2018 – C), as well as All-CRBL six times (1984 – C, 1986 – C, 1988 – P, 1989 – UT, 1991 – P, 1995 – P).  Upon induction, his diverse talents are evident in his all-time rankings.  As a hitter, he is ranked 8th in games played, (tied) 12th in doubles, 15th in runs scored, 16th in total bases, 17th in total bases, 18th in RBIs, 18th in home runs, 22nd in hits, 22nd in singles, 22nd in triples, 24th in OPS, 24th in at-bats, 24th in games played, 25th in walks, 27th in slugging pct., 37th in OBP., and 38th in batting avg.

As a pitcher, his all-time marks can be found in decisions (tied for 16th), wins (19th), innings pitched (tied for 22nd), strikeouts (30th), and winning percentage (41st).