Except for two seasons lost to arm surgery, Nagy was the most reliable starter for the Indians during their glory days of the late 1990s. He and Greg Maddux were the only the two pitchers to win 15 games each year from 1995 to 1999. But Nagy’s best season was a 17-10 campaign in 1992 in which he posted a career-low 2.96 ERA while hurling a career-high 252 innings. He credited his success to the mentoring of veteran hurler Tom Candiotti, who had been traded to Toronto the year before.
Nagy was not a dominant pitcher, but he enjoyed incredible run support from his teammates. A low-key but fierce competitor, his calm demeanor belied his intensity. He was elected as the team’s union representative, he once said, because he wore glasses in the clubhouse and the specs made his teammates think he was smart.
Although Nagy was born in Connecticut, his family was originally from Hungary. In June 1999 he was invited to dine with President Clinton and the Hungarian president at the White House. “I can’t speak Hungarian,” said Nagy. “There wasn’t a whole lot to talk about.”