Monday, March 14, 2016

Mel Ott

You can call yourself a real Giants fan if you know who Mel Ott is. One of the greatest Giants ever.

Joe Posnanski has written a great profile of Ott, who was Vin Scully's fave when he was growing up.

Joe rates him the 34th best player of all time. Here's part of the article --

Ott’s genial nature belied athletic genius. He was not a home run hitter. He was, instead, a complete and self-made hitter. Ott grew up in in a small Louisiana town called Gretna, just on the other side of the river from New Orleans. His father worked long hours in a cottonseed oil plant; Ott always said his family didn’t have much other than church, sports and each other. Ott learned baseball from two uncles who played on a local semipro team.
Ott was not the first to left his front leg high in the air in order to time pitches — the flamingo batting style dates back to the 19th century. But in that little town, through his trial and error, Ott did invent his very own batting style. The first time Giants manager John McGraw saw a 16-year-old Ott, he said, “That’s a natural hitter.”  Ott was in the big leagues at 17. He was a star by 19.
Ott never won an MVP Award though he was probably the league’s best player five or six times during his career. He hit with power, of course, led the league in walks six times and had a tremendous right field arm. He led the National League in WAR five times, finished top four every year from 1929-39, and his 107.8 career WAR is 16th in baseball history, squeezed between Nap Lajoie and Mickey Mantle. When it comes to Mel Ott’s overall play, I would say he’s been underrated by history.


Anonymous Dan the Mets fan said...

A frequent New York Tims crossword clue, usually " New York Giants slugger".

4:16 PM  

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