Hall of Fame: Mel Ott
Name: Mel Ott
Nickname: “Master Melvin”
Teams: New York Giants (1926-1947)
Position: Right Fielder
Over the course of his 22-season career, Mel Ott simultaneously became one of Major League Baseball’s most beloved players, admired by fans around the country – including the infamously rabid Brooklyn Dodgers fans – and most feared hitters. Standing at 5’9” and 170 pounds, Ott used every ounce of his power to compile eight 30-HR seasons, eight-straight seasons with at least 100 RBIs and 12 All-Star selections.
Exposing the short right field porch at the Polo Grounds, Ott hit 323 of his 511 home runs at this home field. His most memorable home run, however, would come in enemy territory during Game 5 of the 1933 World Series where his 10th inning homer clinched the title for the Giants. By the time of his retirement in 1947, Ott had set National League Record for runs scored (1,859), RBI (1,860), total bases (5,041), and walks (1,708).
Ott was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1951 with 87% of the vote.
Did you know?
Even though Ott was signed by the Giants at the age of 16, he would never be sent down to the minors, as Giants manager John McGraw didn’t want anyone “tinkering with that natural swing.”
Ott acted as a player-manager for the Giants for six-straight seasons between 1942 and 1947, his final year as a player.
The first National League player to reach 500 home runs in a career, only Babe Ruth and Jimmie Foxx had previously achieved the feat.
Before going straight from high school to the MLB, Ott was a standout athlete in Gretna, Louisiana, where he played football and basketball.
Ott set – and then repeated – the National League’s record for most walks in a double-header with six. First Oct. 5, 1929 and then again on April 30, 1944.