Friday, September 16, 2005

September 16th, 1960

Mel Hall Born

Ok, so it's another Yankee from their hugely mediocre early 1990s period. So shoot me I had to watch those teams, you can bear to read about their players for a few minutes every now and then. Or you could can just skip over and go to one of the brighter lights. (Gotcha!) Anyway, Hall is worth remembering, for any number of reasons. For one thing, he was a jerk. When Bernie Williams--that's Mr. Clean-up hitter and centerfielder on four World Champion teams Williams to you—was first called up to the Yankees he was shy and reserved. Furthermore, the glasses he wore combined with the jazz guitar he would practice in the clubhouse, made him an easy target for Hall. Hall ridiculed the young rookie until Gerald Williams (no relation to Bernie, by the way) stepped in and told Hall to...well, you can probably imagine.

But Hall wasn't all bad; he is the source of some great stories. For one thing, it was Mel Hall's Memorial Day 1991 home runs which led (through a series of circumstances) to the creation of one of, if not the, best Yankee blogs, Larry Mahnken's Replacement Level Yankee Weblog. For another, Hall was quite a character. While in
New York he rented an apartment on the upper floors of Trump Tower. He would drive around town from that apartment with his two pet cougars (they were later confiscated by the city and cost Hall a $10,000 fine), and also used his fancy cars to drive his sixteen year-old girlfriend to school, and he would later attend her prom. While Hall didn't get along with Bernie Williams, this did make quite an impression on Deion Sanders (with the Yankees then) who asked Hall to be Godfather to one of his children.

Offended by the Yankees refusal to give him a contract extension (although given that he only managed to get his on-base percentage over .320 once in four years, it's hard to blame them) Hall took to complaining and instead headed to
Japan. He spent a few years there but returned to the Majors in 1996 with his knees in worse shape--which limited him largely to pinch-hitting duty--but his attitude intact, complaining that while pinch-hitting was a "vital role" it was one that he “would never accept.” Surprising no one, he was released within a month and never played in the Majors again.

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Listed on BlogShares