Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Final Card: Sam Mele

Sam Mele (#418) had a 7-year managing career, all with the Minnesota Twins.

In the Twins' first season in Minnesota (1961), Mele (then a Twins' coach) filled in for 7 games during manager Cookie Lavagetto's mid-June leave of absence. Ten days after Cookie returned, he was out, and Mele was elevated to manager.

Although the Twins finished in 7th place that season, Sam was retained, and brought the team to 2nd and 3rd place finishes in the next 2 seasons. A 6th-place finish in 1964 almost cost him his job (in favor of one of his coaches - Billy Martin).

1965 was the Twins' best season to date. They won 102 games, and went to the World Series, losing to the Dodgers in 7 games. The team finished in 2nd place for the next 2 seasons, but that was not enough for Mele to keep his job. The Twins added pitcher Dean Chance and rookie 2nd baseman Rod Carew, so expectations were high. After 50 games, they were 25-25, so Mele got the boot, replaced by Cal Ermer. (Ermer lasted through the '68 season, when he was replaced by Billy Martin.)

Mele never managed again, but spent 25 years as a scout for the Red Sox. In his playing days, Sam was an outfielder for several teams from 1947-56, primarily the Red Sox, Senators, and White Sox.

Well team, that's it for the "Final card" series: 77 players and 3 managers. If you missed any, you can browse through the "final card" label below (or wait for an upcoming re-cap of all 80 cards).

1 comment:

Douglas said...

I beleive Sam Mele is still alive. Wow to think your last MLB job was 45 years ago.