Monday, April 09, 2012

#550 Mel Stottlemyre

#550 Mel Stottlemyre
I'm a few weeks overdue with this post, but getting there is half the fun. Our old friend Bob, a.k.a. the Commish, sent me this lovely specimen of a high-numbered Mel Stottlemyre rookie card. If you've skimmed over my checklist lately, you know that this was the last single-player card that I needed...besides that Mantle guy. There's no turning back now!

Fun facts about Mel Stottlemyre:

-Mel was born in Hazleton, MO but attended high school and junior college in Washington state before signing with the Yankees in 1961.

-He led the International League with a 1.42 ERA for Richmond and was 13-3 when New York called him up to the majors in August 1964. The rookie helped the Yanks capture the American League pennant with a 9-3 record and a 2.06 ERA in 13 games down the stretch, solidifying his place in the bigs for good.

-On September 26, 1964, Stottlemyre tormented the Senators by tossing a 2-hitter and going 5-for-5 at the plate with a double and a pair of RBI.

-Mel started three games in the 1964 World Series, earning a complete game victory in Game Two, permitting just two runs (one earned) in a seven-inning no-decision in Game Five, and unfortunately taking the loss on two days' rest in the deciding Game Seven. It would be his only postseason exposure.

-In his sophomore season, he made the first of five All-Star teams, posted a 20-9 record with a 2.63 ERA, and led the league with 18 complete games.

-Despite the Yankees' slide into mediocrity in the late 1960s, Mel had back-to-back 20-win seasons in 1968 (21-12, 2.45 ERA) and 1969 (20-14, 2.82 ERA, league-leading 24 complete games).

-A torn rotator cuff in 1974 ended his career at age 32. In an 11-year career spent entirely in the Bronx, he was 164-139 with a 2.97 ERA and 152 complete games. He is seventh in team history in career wins.

-Stottlemyre spent three decades as a pitching coach for the Mariners, Mets, Astros, and Yankees. He oversaw the Bombers' staff while they were busy winning five World Series at the end of the 20th century.

-His sons Mel, Jr. (Royals, 1990) and Todd (Blue Jays, A's, Cardinals, Rangers, and Diamondbacks, 1988-2002) were also big league pitchers.

-Mel was diagnosed with multiple myeloma a few years back, but the disease is now in remission. He lives in Issaquah, WA.
#550 Mel Stottlemyre (back)


  1. It was MELsanity up there in the late summer of '64 when Stottlemyre was called up and started reeling off those great starts. That fall was the first time I'd experienced real pennant fever as an Orioles fan and the frenzy over Mel really chapped me.

    He seemed like a good guy though and I ended up a fan.

  2. I remember seeing Mel (on tv) hit an inside the park grand slam at Yankee Stadium.