Nordhagen had limited range as an outfielder and saw mostly reserve duty. In 1980,
the only year in which he played regularly, he hit 15 home runs for the White Sox.
He had a strong arm and caught 25 ML games; he is one of the few players to pitch
and catch for the same club in the same year (1979). His 1982 trade from the Blue
Jays to the Pirates was canceled after one game when he developed back spasms. With
Toronto, he led AL pinch hitters in 1982 with a .423 average (11-for-26).
FROM THE BASEBALL CHRONOLOGY
»June 7, 1973:
The Yankees trade three players -- 1B Frank Tepedino, OF Wayne Nordhagen and a player to be named -- to the Atlanta Braves for P Pat Dobson. Dobson had struggled in his one year in Atlanta after the Braves had acquired him from the Orioles. The player to be named will turn out to be 2—Alan Closter and Dave Cheadle. The Yanks also purchase 30-year-old Sam McDowell (1–2) from the San Francisco Giants for $100,000+. McDowell, who will later admit to a drinking problem (teammate Dick Radatz later remarked, "We thought he was just stupid. It turned out he was never sober") will pitch two seasons in New York before being released.
»June 15, 1982: In a convoluted three-way deal, the Pirates send vet Bill Robinson to the Phils, while the Phils send promising OF Dick Davis to the Toronto Blue Jays. The Jays send Wayne Nordhagen to the Bucs. Nordhagen plays one game for Pittsburgh, going 2-for-4, and then goes down with a stiff back. Claiming a pre-existent injury, the Pirates complain to Toronto, and on June 25 the Jays agree to take Nordhagen back, sending Davis to the Pirates. Alas, Davis, who plays in nine road games with the Jays, will hit .182 for the Bucs.