(June 18, 2019, York, Pa.) — Few players in York Revolution history have had as big of a flair for the dramatic, or as big of a direct impact on the history of the franchise as Telvin Nash. From huge regular season performances to the most clutch of postseason moments, the hulking first baseman has become one of the all-time greats not only in Revolution history but also in the modern era of Atlantic League baseball. Nash added a new chapter to his illustrious career in York this past week, claiming the Revs’ all-time home run record, and as he has so many times before, helping the Revs win big in the process.
Nash claimed the record on the road this past weekend in Lancaster, helping the Revs sweep the rival Barnstormers. The record-setting 67th smash came in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader, when the six-foot-three righty sent a blast out of the right field of Clipper Magazine Stadium. Number 68 came two innings later.
In theory, though, Nash’s baseball career could have never happened. Nash had scholarship offers to play not only baseball, but also football at numerous schools including University of Miami. He is the son of retired educators – his mother a fifth grade teacher and his father a principal. His dad, Ray, also had a career in pro football in the late 1970s and early ‘80s. Telvin played on the edge on defense as a standout defensive end/outside linebacker. He was a tight end on offense and was selected All-America in both baseball and football. Nash, meanwhile, considered basketball his personal strength growing up, playing small forward and shooting guard on the hardwood.
Turning pro in baseball, however, was too good of an offer to pass up, and Nash signed with the Houston Astros after being made their third-round draft selection out of Griffin High School in Griffin, GA. The talented young slugger began his pro career as an 18-year-old left fielder in the Gulf Coast League that summer. That first season he hit only one home run in 40 games. One summer later, however, the long balls started to come as he bashed 13 homers in 61 games beginning with rookie Greeneville and earning a bump to Tri City in the New York-Penn League. He was named Greeneville’s Team MVP and ranked fourth in the Appalachian League in home runs despite opening the season in extended spring training due to injury.
Baseball America took notice, naming Nash the Astros’ top power hitting prospect entering the 2011 season. Nash caught more attention when he went yard in an MLB Spring Training game and clubbed 14 homers in 73 games for Class-A Lexington, including a three-home run performance in a game that April, while also missing significant time with a hamate bone injury.
Healthy to begin the 2012 season, Nash was sent to Advanced-A Lancaster of the California League and put opposing pitchers on notice with five home runs in the season’s first six games. Nash cracked the Astros’ top 10 prospect list according to Baseball America and finished one off the league-lead with 29 jacks on the west coast.
Nash returned to Lancaster in 2013 and was bumped to Double-A in 2014, where he led the Texas League in home runs (22), slugging (.484), and OPS (.814) with Corpus Christi. Back with Corpus to begin the 2015 season, Nash tied for fourth in the league in home runs and RBI through 30 games played, but was released by Houston after a total of 102 home runs in parts of seven seasons in their organization.
The Revolution, meanwhile, was in the midst of a difficult first half and a dreadful series in Sugar Land when talks of Nash coming to York started to heat up. The Revs needed an offensive boost, and manager Mark Mason was looking to shake things up. Nash agreed to terms on a deal with the Revs while the team was still on the road and arrived in York to join his new team upon its return from Texas. Little did anyone know it was a transaction that would net arguably the most dangerous power hitter in the Atlantic League’s modern era and a player that would become an all-time Revolution great, while also having such an impact on the franchise’s on-field future.
Nash officially joined the Revs on June 16, 2015, and it did not take long to realize the Revs had acquired a special hitter. Forced to miss some time early in his Revs career due to a couple of minor injuries, Nash went on a tear down the stretch and finished with eight homers in the season’s final 16 games and an incredible 40 walks over the final 51 games as opposing pitchers clearly saw the need to be careful. His .391 on-base percentage would have ranked second in the league with enough plate appearances to qualify, and his 13 home runs in 64 games put him on a 28.4-homer pace for a full 140 games played.
Nash came back to begin the 2016 season in York and was the centerpiece of a first half champion lineup while he was there, leading the league with 15 home runs, a franchise first half record, and 26 extra-base hits when his contract was purchased by the Chicago White Sox on June 22, eight days before the Revs clinched a playoff spot.
Limited by injury to start the following year, Nash’s time in the White Sox system ended midway through the 2017 season, and a reunion in York for a third consecutive season helped put the Revs over the top. Nash returned to York on July 25 of that season and, in dramatic fashion, went yard in his season debut. After blasting 14 bombs in his first 33 games back, Nash piled up a total of 16 round trippers in the second half, helping drive the Revs back into the postseason.
Gunning for a third championship in franchise history, which would put the franchise among the Atlantic League’s elite all-time, Nash put the offense on his broad shoulders and had a postseason for the ages. It started on the first night, facing Southern Maryland in the Division Series, as the Blue Crabs clawed back in the late innings to erase a York lead and tie the score with two runs in the eighth. After Chase Huchingson and Grant Sides worked scoreless innings out of the York bullpen, Rubi Silva doubled with two outs in the bottom of the tenth to get Nash to the plate. Nash worked a 3-1 count against Crabs righty Evan Reed before belting the game-winning walk-off home run into the playground in left-center at PeoplesBank Park to give the Revs a Game One win and set the tone for the postseason.
Nash homered again in a 7-2 win in Game Two the following night, as the Revs went on to eliminate the Blue Crabs in four games and punch their ticket to the Championship Series.
York won a pair of epic postseason battles with one-run wins on the road at Long Island, returning home to a raucous crowd at PeoplesBank Park with a chance to win the title in Game Three.
Held in check offensively for most of the night, the Revs faced a 2-1 deficit heading to the bottom of the eighth inning. Silva once again did his job, getting on base in front of Nash by bunting for a hit. Right-hander Matt Marsh entered for Long Island and, after a ball and a strike, made the one mistake that Nash needed. Cementing himself for all-time as a postseason hero in York, Nash crushed a towering game-winning two-run homer over the LED board in right-center and onto the Appell Lawn, sending a big PeoplesBank Park crowd into a frenzy and propelling the Revs to their third Atlantic League championship.
Nash was named co-MVP of the postseason along with Huchingson, tying franchise playoff records with three home runs and eight RBI. Those totals do not get added to his regular season numbers but are considered the most special by Nash.
“Winning the championship, that one and the walk-off in the playoff opener, the playoff ones mean the most to me,” reflected Nash when asked which of his home runs most stood out to him, shortly after taking over the all-time record this past weekend.
Always having a flair for the dramatic, Nash returned to the Revs for a fourth season on August 3 last year and crushed a pair of home runs in his first game back. After clubbing nine total and being named Atlantic League Player of the Month in August, Nash reached #3 on the Revs’ all-time home run list with 53, and a return in 2019 would seemingly put him just a “matter of time” away from moving to the top of the chart.
On the Opening Day roster for just the second time in his five seasons in York, Nash clobbered his first of the season, helping the Revs to a late-game comeback victory as he had so many times before on April 30 vs. New Britain. The following week, he hit one of the longest home runs in PeoplesBank Park history off the back ad wall behind the playground on May 6 vs. Somerset, and by mid-May he was really starting to heat up.
Nash homered four times in eight games, May 13-20, and records began to fall not long after. On May 25 vs. Lancaster, Nash crushed his 60th all-time with the Revs, moving past Chris Nowak and into second all-time, while tying Andres Perez for the all-time stadium record with his 38th, a mark that he would break the following day. That left just the most sacred of baseball records for a franchise, all-time home runs, left to claim.
After bashing his 40th home run all-time at PeoplesBank Park on June 1 vs. Long Island, Nash found himself within striking distance of history, three behind Perez with 63 all-time in his York career. But a difficult road trip had Nash held hitless over the course of a seven-game stretch, and the Revs limped back home at perhaps their lowest point of the season.
But thanks in large part to Nash, things changed in a hurry and records began to fall. Only one other time in the first 1,678 regular season games in franchise history did a Revs batter go yard three times in one game (Ian Bladergroen, 8/15/10 at Lancaster). In stunning and dramatic fashion, Nash tied that record, and in doing so, tied Perez for the all-time franchise record with his 64th, 65th, and 66th on June 10 in an 11-0 thumping of the High Point Rockers.
“It’s another day at the ballpark,” stated a humble Nash after the game. “I was just trying to help my team win the best way possible…. I went and looked at some old film from when I was going well and made some minor adjustments, and the rest is history.”
Before the week was over, Nash put himself alone at the top, again doing so in clutch fashion for the team. Down 2-1 in the fourth of a seven-inning contest in game one of a day-night doubleheader on Saturday, June 15, Nash connected on an opposite field home run to right at Clipper Magazine Stadium, tying the game and giving the 13-year-old Revs franchise a new leader in home runs with his 67th all-time, moving past his former teammate Perez, who had held the record for almost three calendar years. But Nash wasn’t done there. Down a run again two innings later, Nash launched a towering shot to left-center, tying the game yet again in what ended up being a big come-from-behind 4-3 victory—and eventually a Revs sweep of the Barnstormers, the first four-game road sweep in franchise history and a turn in the complexion of the 2019 season in just a week’s time, during which the Revs won six straight and eight of nine overall.
“It’s special,” said Nash afterward. “I couldn’t do it without my teammates, my coaching staff, and my family. It’s a good moment, but right now we just want to continue to win and play well, and build toward a championship.”
His manager might have the most unique view of Nash’s heroics, having recruited him to York for the first time almost to the exact day four years earlier.
“First of all, I’m proud of him and I’m really happy for him too,” commented Mason after Saturday’s record-breaking performance. “He works really hard at it. It’s good to see guys that work hard get rewarded. He’s well-deserving. It’s a shame he couldn’t do it at home, but doing it here and where he hit that second one was no joke. I’m just really proud of him.”
Doing it in a multi-home run performance was also typical of Nash, who has now hit multiple home runs in a game five times in his Revs career, tied for second-most all-time.
“The thing about Telvin that we’ve seen is when he starts hitting them, he hits them in spurts,” said Mason. “Every time he walks into the box it’s a chance to go deep, and that’s why it’s like must-watch TV for him when he gets in there. He’s an exciting player to watch when he hits, and we’re happy to have him.”