I’ve decided to write a series about memorable former teammates of mine throughout the years…..PL
Every once in a while a pitcher will come along that defines his era. For historically pitching rich Euclid High School in the latter half of 1980’s that pitcher was Lenny Nieves. Blessed with a powerful fast ball, a tight breaking curve and computer like brain, Lenny parlayed those gifts into rock star status as prep pitcher in the state of Ohio. He was our team’s go to arm. Playing (and being battery mates) with him since we were ten years old I got to see first hand the way he attack the strike zone… fearless and unrelenting. He always wanted the ball…always wanted the challenge. I could discuss what seems like hundreds of games over the course of nearly a decade that he did something to help us win. Like the time at Mentor where he where he gave up one run and hit a two run homer to beat the Cards 2-1. But the game I will always remember him for was when he took the ball against Delaware in the 1987 High School World Series on ZERO rest and our entire pitching staff on fumes. We came up short that day 6-4 after a Pedro Swann hit “one that hasn’t landed yet” over the center field trees at Paul Serra Field (lol) but Lenny’s performance was nothing short of gutsy under the circumstances. You could expect nothing less from your ace. After being named GCC MVP as junior and to the 1988 All State team as a senior, he went on to pitch at Duke. He was elected to the Euclid High School Sports Hall of Fame a few years back…a very fitting end for kid from Euclid that always wanted the ball.