The Hall of Famer Mel Ott gets his GIFs

These days you can’t talk about Mel Ott without talking about a certain Washington Nationals outfielder, but in a “This Date in Giants History” segment on Saturday night’s telecast, Mel Ott was given his own little time for black-and-white highlights. Growing up, my favorite number was “4,” and so when I found out I couldn’t get that numbered jersey at a Giants Dugout Store, I was a little disappointed, and got one custom made… in a jersey size that was way too big for me. Nevertheless, this guy is a good reason for why the number “4” isn’t still worn by players in the Giants organization, in my opinion. Ott’s career line is pretty remarkable, especially since he started playing in the big leagues at age 17 in 1926. A power hitter in his day, he never won an MVP award, though interesting to note that his WAR was highest in the 1932 and 1938 seasons, and in most of the MVP races he was involved in, especially the earlier ones, Mel Ott’s numbers didn’t seem to be appreciated as much as they might be in 2013. However, that is not to say that other players did not have excellent and outstanding seasons, as you can see by clicking the MVP-# under the “Awards” column.

Year Age PA AB H HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS+ Pos Awards
1926 17 61 60 23 0 4 1 9 .383 .393 .417 120 7O
1927 18 180 163 46 1 19 13 9 .282 .335 .380 91 O87
1928 19 500 435 140 18 77 52 36 .322 .397 .524 139 *O9/4758
1929 20 675 545 179 42 151 113 38 .328 .449 .635 165 *O9/48 MVP-11
1930 21 648 521 182 25 119 103 35 .349 .458 .578 150 *O9
1931 22 580 497 145 29 115 80 44 .292 .392 .545 151 *O89
1932 23 673 566 180 38 123 100 39 .318 .424 .601 174 *O9 MVP-10
1933 24 661 580 164 23 103 75 48 .283 .367 .467 138 *O98
1934 25 671 582 190 35 135 85 43 .326 .415 .591 168 *O98 AS,MVP-5
1935 26 683 593 191 31 114 82 58 .322 .407 .555 157 *O95 AS,MVP-20
1936 27 660 534 175 33 135 111 41 .328 .448 .588 177 *O9 AS,MVP-6
1937 28 654 545 160 31 95 102 69 .294 .408 .523 150 O95 AS,MVP-7
1938 29 654 527 164 36 116 118 47 .311 .442 .583 178 *5O9 AS,MVP-4
1939 30 508 396 122 27 80 100 50 .308 .449 .581 174 O95 AS,MVP-11
1940 31 647 536 155 19 79 100 50 .289 .407 .457 137 *O95 AS
1941 32 634 525 150 27 90 100 68 .286 .403 .495 150 *O9/7 AS,MVP-19
1942 33 664 549 162 30 93 109 61 .295 .415 .497 165 *O9 AS,MVP-3
1943 34 485 380 89 18 47 95 48 .234 .391 .418 134 *O9/5 AS,MVP-20
1944 35 494 399 115 26 82 90 47 .288 .423 .544 172 *O9/5 AS,MVP-16
1945 36 534 451 139 21 79 71 41 .308 .411 .499 151 *9O MVP-13
1946 37 78 68 5 1 4 8 15 .074 .171 .132 -13 O9
1947 38 4 4 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 -100
22 Yrs 11348 9456 2876 511 1860 1708 896 .304 .414 .533 155
162 Game Avg. 673 561 171 30 110 101 53 .304 .414 .533 155
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/28/2013.

He was voted into the Hall of Fame by the BBWAA in 1951, getting 87.2% in favor.

Most Giants fans never got the chance to see Mel Ott play, but I’m guessing the generation before us got to see highlights of him since it wasn’t as far away from his time. Below are pieces from highlights from that “This Day in Giants History” segment:

Mostly an outfielder in his day, I’ll bet he’d have won plenty of Gold Gloves since he was a good hitter.

I look at his swing and think, “How’d he get 511 home runs doing that?”

Still, I love the front leg kick — and those socks! — and for me, it’s so cool seeing these kinds of highlights of Hall of Fame players we never had the good fortune of seeing live.

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