Dick Nichols was one of the finest all-around high school athletes in Jacksonville, Florida, and were it not for a knee injury three games into his senior season at Wolfson High; he may have never found his way to Tallahassee.
FSU baseball coach Fred Hatfield offered Nichols a spot on the roster in May of 1966, which he accepted after his injury cost him a football scholarship to Georgia Tech and admission to the U.S. Military Academy.
Nichols made the most of the opportunity, rising from walk-on to All-American and leading the Seminoles to the 1970 College World Series Championship game.
A three-year letter winner and two-year starter, he led the Seminoles in batting as a junior (.336) and senior (.338), when he was the leadoff hitter on the team that lost 2-1 in 16 innings to USC in the championship game.
Nichols was a first-team All-America selection by The Sporting News, and a second-team selection by the American Baseball Coaches Association in 1970. The second baseman led the team in hits (80), doubles (17), triples (6), stolen bases (34) and on-base percentage (.442).
He signed with the Boston Red Sox after FSU and played two years in the minor leagues before returning to school to earn a master’s degree in economics from Michigan State.