Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Sam Mele

Sebath Anthony "Sam" Mele

January 21, 1922
Astoria, NY

May 1, 2017
Quincy, MA

1939-40 Bryant High School - Queens, NY (High School)
1940-41 Bryant High School - Queens, NY (High School)
1941-42 NYU (College)
1942-43 NYU (College)
1943-44 NYU (College)
1945-46 Trenton Tigers (ABL)

Mele was the son of Italian immigrants, and the nephew of major league baseball players Al and Tony Cuccinello. Growing up with a lot of baseball talk in the house (not just from his uncles, but also from frequent visitors like Hall of Famer Al Lopez), Mele took to the game. However, it was his skills on a basketball court that lead to his athletic scholarship at NYU. However, in high school he played professionally but was caught, which caused him to be ineligible to play back at Bryant. He entered the U.S. Marines at took his training at Yale, where he was permitted (like all service members in training programs) to play baseball on the Yale team.

Mele played briefly with the Trenton Tigers in the American Basketball League in 1945-46. He would sign with the Red Sox in 1946 and tore it up with their Scranton affiliate, batting .342 there and earning his way to the major league roster in 1947. In a ten year career with the Red Sox, White Sox, Senators, Reds, Orioles and Indians, he would bat .267. He became a coach for the Washington Senators and was named manager when the club moved to Minnesota. In seven years with the Twins, he had a .546 winning percentage with a pennant in 1965. Mele later became a scout and advisor for the Red Sox, helping to sign such players as Jim Rice. He retired from the game in the early 1990's, and died in 2017 at 95 years of age.

Major League Baseball Stats

NY Times Obituary
SABR Biography


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