Neyer: How John McGraw eased teenager Mel Ott into the major leagues

From SABR member Rob Neyer at The National Pastime Museum on April 6, 2017:

When Mel Ott was 17 years old, he batted .383.

In the Major Leagues.

Okay, so it was only 60 at-bats. Of his 23 hits, 21 were singles. He drew just one walk and drove in just four runs. Still . . . .383!

When Ott was 19 years old, he hit 18 home runs. No 19-year-old before Ott had ever hit more than four home runs in a season.

He also set records for 19-year-olds for games, at-bats, hits, walks, doubles, runs, runs batted in, and who knows what else. Before Mel Ott, there had never been a 19-year-old anything like Mel Ott. And there hasn’t been one since, really, although we could at least discuss Tony Conigliaro and Bryce Harper. You know, if we want to have some sort of argument. But let’s not argue.

Ott, of course, wound up in the Hall of Fame. Everybody knows that.

What everybody doesn’t know is how Ott, all 5 feet, 7 inches of him, came to be the largest of the Giants. That story was once famous among baseball fans but has faded in favor of other, more contemporary stories.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: April 7, 2017. Last Updated: April 7, 2017.