In 1926, a 17 year old Mel Ott came straight to the New York Giants out of Gretna High School in Louisiana, and never played a day in the minor leagues. For the next 22 seasons, the powerful lefty-hitting rightfielder would be one of the club’s offensive stars, leading the team in homeruns for 18 consecutive seasons. “Master Melvin” was known for his unusual right-leg kick at the plate, and during his career he totaled some remarkable numbers. His lifetime stats include a .304 batting average, 2876 hits, 1860 RBIs, 488 doubles, and a .414 OBP. He was the National League HR leader 6 times, and drove in 100+ runs 9 times. He hit 30+ homers 8 times, became the first National League player to reach the 500 HR mark, and finished his career with a total of 511. Pitchers around the league tried their best to avoid pitching to him, and in his career the 12 time NL All-Star totaled 1708 walks, he had 5 walks in a game 3 times, 6 walks in a doubleheader twice, and once reached base 7 consecutive times via base-on-balls. He was a member of the Giants 1933 World Champions, and NL pennant winning teams of 1936 & ’37.
In 1949, the Giants retired his #4, and in 1951 he was elected via BBWAA to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
January 21, 2017
New Orleans, LA