But in Game 2 of the ALCS at Fenway Park, Nixon showed that there was still some life left in his old bones.
The first six innings of Game 2 were a see-saw matter. The Red Sox, already up 1-0 in the series, quickly jumped out to a 3-1 lead against struggling young ace Fausto Carmona. But the Indians battled back off Boston starter Curt Schilling as Jhonny Peralta hit a towering three-run homer to center field to give Cleveland a 4-3 lead.
Boston reclaimed the lead 6-5 with a three-run fifth, and the Indians tied it at six in the top of the sixth. It stayed that way into the 11th inning, when Cleveland finally cracked the Boston bullpen.
With Grady Sizemore on second, left-handed hitting Trot Nixon stepped to the plate against lefty Javier Lopez, a rare pinch-hitter called in to face a pitcher from the same side. You'd be excused for giving an aging hitter not much of a chance for success after stepping to the plate for the first time after sitting for 11 innings on a chilly New England night.
But Nixon knew this place better than just about anyone else. The longtime Red Sox right fielder-turned-Indian-for-hire connected off Lopez for a single to center, scoring Sizemore and breaking the deadlock.
Then the walls came crashing down for Boston. The combined efforts of Lopez, Jon Lester and Eric Gagne couldn't stop the bleeding before seven runs had scored and the Indians had secured a series-tying 13-6 win.
The old dog might not have learned any new tricks. But he didn't need any on a night when a good, old-fashioned single worked just fine.