Friday, April 24, 2009

Mel Ott

One of the Giants' all-time greats, there were many things special about Mel Ott besides the 511 career homers and the leg lift.
- Went straight to the majors from high school and was 17 years old when he played his first game as a Giant.
- Played 22 years with the same team.
- Led the team in homers 18 consecutive years.
- He was only 5' 9" and 170#.
- 63% of his career homers were hit at home. (The right field line at the Polo Grounds was only 257 ft.)
- He was a player/manager for most of 6 seasons. His final appearance as a player took place in July of the '47 season, and continued to manage thru the '48 season. His best finish as manager was 3rd place in '42. He was allegedly the subject of Leo Durocher's infamous line, "Nice guys finish last."

Ott played in 3 World Series, '33, '36 and '37, winning in '33. He hit the series-winning homer in the top of the 10th in game five at Griffith Stadium in Washington DC against the Senators. (There hasn't been a post-season game played in DC since then.)

He died in a car crash in 1958 at the age of 49. He was interred in the famous Metairie Cemetery in New Orleans .


M.C. O'Connor said...

49! Dude!

Waaaaaay too young.

(I'm 49.)

JC Parsons said...

Excellent info!
Mel was about Tim's size!!??!! That is so cool. You don't suppose Sadaharu Oh got his swing from seeing Ott's, do you? They look similiar...