Herbert Clyde Niles (September 10, 1880 – April 18, 1953) was an outfielder/infielder in Major League Baseball who played for four different teams between the 1906 and 1910 seasons. Listed at 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m) 175 lb., Niles batted and threw right-handed. He was born in Buchanan, Michigan.
Niles entered the majors in 1906 with the St. Louis Browns, playing for them two years before joining the New York Highlanders (1908), Boston Red Sox (1908–1910) and Cleveland Naps (1910). A valuable utility man and aggressive base runner, he scored 71 runs and stole 30 bases in his rookie season. Then, in 1907 hit career-numbers with a .289 and a .331 on-base percentage while collecting 65 runs and 19 steals, and in 1909 posted career-numbers in games (145), RBI (39) and extrabases (18).
On Jun 30, 1908, Niles broke up the perfect game bid of Boston pitcher Cy Young, when batting leadoff for New York walked, then caught stealing. Young retired the next 26 batters and had to conform with a no-hitter. Then, on Aug 30, 1910, New York's Tom Hughes retired 28 batters before surrendering a 10-inning single to Cleveland's Niles.
In a five-season career, Niles was a .247 hitter (561-for-2270) with 12 home runs and 152 RBI in 608 games, including 278 runs, 58 doubles, 24 triples, 107 stolen bases, and a .310 on-base percentage. He made 582 appearances at second base (214), right field (184), left field (95), third base (52), center field (19) and shortstop (18). Niles died at the age of 72 in Sturgis, Michigan.
By Dean Hanley
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