Otis Junior Nixon was born on January 9, 1959 in Columbus, Georgia. He played 17 years of major league baseball, three of which were with the Atlanta Braves during their remarkable run for the division title in the 1990s. He batted an impressive .287 in three seasons and stole a total of 160 bases. On July 25, 1992, Otis made a catch over the wall to rob Andy Van Slyke of a home run, a catch that was replayed many times on sports news programs. Throughout his career, he posted stellar numbers despite battling problems with substance abuse. He later overcame his demons and conquered the addiction that plagued him most of his life.
Upon retirement, Otis found his purpose off the field by starting a faith-based ministry to serve the youth of Atlanta through motivational speaking and life coaching. His focus was to help youth avoid or overcome many of the problems he faced. He said “If I can save one person’s life, I will have fulfilled a goal more valuable to me than winning a World Series.” He became an ordained minister and also started working with local court systems to advocate for youth who had no other support. He created The Otis Nixon Foundation 2008 with the purpose of addressing substance abuse, bullying and promoting education. The Foundation became a founding partner of the “Color with a Cop” initiative in 2019 which connects early age youth and their parents with law enforcement to foster a better relationship through direct engagement and an interactive educational program.
Otis wrote a book that chronicled his journey entitled “Keeping It Real”. Click here to preview the book and/or purchase a copy.
The Otis Nixon Celebrity Golf Classic was started in 2006 to support the ministry work. It is now the major fundraiser for The Otis Nixon Foundation. What started as a small golf tournament with a few close celebrity friends has now grown into a much sought-after event with 45+ teams, features over 50 celebrities and includes over 30 sponsors.