Dave Nelson appears on card number 111 of the 1973 Topps set along with two Oakland A's and part of an umpire. For some reason I really like this card in spite of the poor photograph composure. I mean, if it weren't for Nelson's name on the card it might be hard to determine who was the focus of the shot.
In 1973 Dave made the jump from third base to second. He had started at third in 1972 but would play only at second in 1973. He showed up in 142 games during the season and spent 1175 innings as the second sacker. During that time he handled 702 chances and made 11 errors. That gave him a fielding percentage of .984. That was four points above the league average.
On offense Dave batted .286 in 624 plate appearances. Those were career highs in both categories. His on base percentage was .325. He hammered in 48 RBI while scoring 71 times himself - both also career highs. His seven home runs and 24 doubles were career highs as well. In keeping with the photo it is fitting to note that Nelson swiped 43 bases and was caught 16 times.
1973 was a good year for Dave Nelson. He was able to adapt well to his new position and build on his previous two years' successes. He posted career high numbers in several categories and even received some MVP consideration. To top it all off, he was named to the All-Star team. Quite the year and he was only 29. Things were looking good for Dave.