Meet the Jackfish: Brandon Nicholson
Brandon Nicholson is the first to admit he loves to stir things up.
The 24-year-old outfielder for the Welland Jackfish is one of the driving forces behind Welland’s hyper-aggressive style on the bases.
“Honestly, it sounds weird to say but it’s my favourite thing in baseball, get on base and create havoc,” the Orchard Park, N.Y., native said. “It’s part of the game not looked at enough. You can hit a single and be on third base in two pitches. In my eyes, I look at it as a triple.”
Nicholson leads the Jackfish with 24 stolen bases in 18 games so far this year. He normally gets the green light from Welland manager Brian Essery to go at his discretion.
“It’s a lot of fun,” he said. “I love it.”
Nicholson said it takes more than just blinding speed to be effective at stealing bases.
“It’s all about timing up the pitcher and being aware of the situation,” Nicholson said. “Anticipating certain things. I say it all the time but you can steal every base off the pitcher, no matter how good of an arm the catcher has.”
Nicholson, who also leads this Jackfish in runs batted in with 22 while batting a robust .350, is enjoying his fourth season with Welland which have won 13 of its first 18 games.
“It’s awesome. I’ve been here since 2019 and we haven’t had a team like this here. It’s been awesome to get off to such a fast start and dominating,” he said.
Nicholson had no idea what he was getting into when he joined the Jackfish.
“I had no clue but it exceeded all my expectations,” he said. “It’s awesome. It’s a lot of fun to play in front of fans like this. They make it easy to get up for games.
“When you see a park full of fans and they’re cheering and loud, it makes the game a lot more fun.”
Nicholson grew up in the shadow of Highmark Stadium, home of the Buffalo Bills, but always considered baseball his primary sport.
“I played baseball my whole life, it was my No. 1 sport. I played four years in college, all through high school and bounced around a few different colleges,” he said. “I want to continue to play as long as I can.”
Off the diamond, Nicholson works as a phys-ed teacher at Cheektowaga Central Middle School and loves to golf.
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