Monday, November 25, 2013
#114 Mel Hall
1. Mel feasted on the pitching of Mark Gubicza (.434/.483/.585 in 58 PA), but had his share of trouble against Roger Clemens (.188/.233/.232 in 73 PA).
2. He was a better ballplayer than a human being. He mentored a young Bernie Williams by continually referring to him as "Mr. Zero", and shouting him down every time the outfield prospect attempted to speak. The soft-spoken Williams was reportedly near tears from this abuse. In hindsight, only one of this pair of players has zero World Series rings, zero All-Star selections, and zero Gold Gloves, and it ain't Bernie.
3. Need more proof of Hall's bona fides as a creep? He is currently serving a 45-year prison sentence for raping two underage girls while coaching their basketball team in the late 1990s. He will not be eligible for parole until the early 2030s.
11-Year-Old Kevin Says: I didn't grow up watching the likes of Mel Hall and Alvaro Espinoza on the forgettable Yankees squads of the early nineties, but my college roommate (a Yankee fan from central Jersey) did. He often name-checks Mel Hall as proof that he stuck through the bad times before enjoying the team's later run of success.
Bill James Said: Jack squat, since Mel was playing in the Far East in 1993.
On This Date in 1993: November 25. Burgess "Whitey" Whitehead, a reserve infielder from the 1934 Cardinals' "Gashouse Gang" team, dies of a heart attack at age 83. He was the last surviving member of that World Series-winning club. Later in his career, he was a two-time All-Star at second base for the New York Giants.