Jeff Nelson signed a minor-league contract with the New York Yankees Friday and then announced his retirement. Wanting to retire as a Yankee, the 40-year-old Nelson ends his career as the pitcher with more post-season appearances than any other pitcher in the history of the game not named Mariano Rivera.
At the age of 25 in 1992, Jeffrey Allen Nelson, born in 1966 in Baltimore, Maryland, came up with the Seattle Mariners, where he logged a stout 81 innings in 66 games on his way to a 1-7 record and a 3.44 ERA. The rangy pitcher went on to hurl four years in Seattle the first go-round, and got his first taste of the post-season in 1995, taking the loss in game one but advancing with his team as the Mariners knocked the Yankees out of the ALDS in five games.
In the ALCS, he appeared in three games and didn't allow a run but Cleveland knocked Seattle out in six games. Following the season, he was traded along with Tino Martinez and Jim Mercer to the Yankees for Russ Davis and Sterling Hitchcock. Thus began his contribution to a run of four World Series victories in five years.