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.
|162 Game Avg.||673||561||171||30||110||101||53||.304||.414||.533||155|
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.