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Ol’ Lefthander’s chair safe after Bob Evans closes in Fairfield

The Bob Evans on Dixie Highway in Fairfield was often referred to as Joe Nuxhall’s because just about every morning you’d find the Ol’ Lefthander sitting at his counter spot.

When the Journal-News reported Monday that the Fairfield restaurant had abruptly closed, many wondered what happened to Nuxhall’s chair.

FIRST REPORT: Bob Evans abruptly shuts down Butler County location

The chair is safe in the basement of Kim Nuxhall, along with many other pieces of his father’s memorabilia.

“I have the original seat,” said Nuxhall. “The Reds Hall of Fame has one as well, and the current one (at the restaurant until it closed) was a representation of where Dad sat. He didn’t technically sit in that seat. He sat in that spot.”

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The seat Joe Nuxhall sat in for years, eating breakfast along side his son Kim Nuxhall at Bob Evans on Ohio 4 in Fairfield, was retired in 2008.  (MICHAEL D. PITMAN/2008)

Nuxhall said many people have reached out to him, concerned about what was to happen with his dad’s chair. He said he appreciates how many people still hold his father in such high regard.

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Joe Nuxhall, a Reds Hall of Fame pitcher and announcer, sat in that swivel stool for the better part of a decade. It was removed from the restaurant in April 2008 and was added to the “Ol’ Lefthander” exhibit at the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame.

Nuxhall died in November 2007.

Joe Nuxhall, right, and Harry Brown sit in January 2007 at the counter of Bob Evans on Dixie Highway in Fairfield.  (FILE PHOTO/2007)

Nuxhall holds the record as the youngest player to play in a Major League Baseball game. He was called up to pitch for the Cincinnati Reds in 1944 due to player shortages during World War II. He was 15 years old.

The two-time All-Star pitcher later played for the Reds from 1952 to 1960 before playing for the Kansas City Athletics and the Los Angeles Angels. He finished his career in Cincinnati, playing for the Reds from 1962 to 1966.

Here are five things to know about Joe Nuxhall's historic MLB debut on June 10, 1944.

Nuxhall said he read about the closing of the Fairfield Bob Evans and was “bummed” it closed. He said he had a number of great memories at that restaurant with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jeffery Marx, legendary Reds Hall of Fame manager Sparky Anderson and Reds Hall of Famer player Sean Casey.

But the time with his dad was always special, Nuxhall said.

“We spent every day there in the mornings,” he said.

Kim Nuxhall said he ate at the now-closed Bob Evans earlier this month, just before leaving town for a vacation.

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