Mel Parnell

Melvin Lloyd Parnell (June 13, 1922 – March 20, 2012) was a Major League Baseball left-handed starting pitcher.

Mel Parnell
Mel Parnell 1953 Bowman
Born: June 13, 1922
New Orleans, Louisiana
Died: March 20, 2012 (aged 89)
New Orleans, Louisiana
Batted: Left Threw: Left
MLB debut
April 20, 1947, for the Boston Red Sox
Last MLB appearance
September 29, 1956, for the Boston Red Sox
MLB statistics
Win–loss record123–75
Earned run average3.50
Career highlights and awards


Parnell spent his entire ten-year career with the Boston Red Sox (1947–1956), compiling a 123-75 record with 732 strikeouts, a 3.50 earned run average, 113 complete games, 20 shutouts, and 1752.2 innings pitched in 289 games (232 as a starter). He has the third-highest career winning percentage for a left-hander in Fenway Park (minimum of more than 25 decisions), at 71-30 (.703). It's been said that following a victory in Fenway Park during which Johnny Pesky hit the deciding home run near the right field foul pole, Parnell named it the "Pesky Pole" or Pesky's Pole. Research, however, shows that Pesky hit just one home run in a game pitched by Parnell, a two-run shot in the first inning of a game against Detroit played on June 11, 1950. The game was eventually won by the visiting Tigers in the 14th inning on a three-run shot by Tigers right fielder Vic Wertz and Parnell earned a no-decision that day.

Parnell enjoyed his best season in 1949 when he went 25-7, leading the league in wins, ERA (2.77), complete games (27) and innings (295.1). He was the starting pitcher for the American League in that year's All-Star Game and was selected again in 1951.

After two 18-win seasons in 1950 and 1951, and a 12-12 record in 1952, Parnell went 21-8 in 1953 with a 3.06 ERA and a career-high 136 strikeouts. On July 14, 1956, he no-hit the Chicago White Sox 4-0 at Fenway Park. The no-hitter was the first for a Red Sox pitcher since Howard Ehmke in 1923, though this would prove the final highlight of his career, which would come to a premature end after the 1956 season, due to a torn muscle in his pitching arm. It would take 52 years until another Red Sox lefty would throw a no-hitter, a feat accomplished by Jon Lester in 2008

Parnell still holds the club career mark for left-handed pitchers in games started, innings and victories.

After his playing career, Parnell managed the New Orleans Pelicans of the Class AA Southern Association in 1959 and a series of Red Sox farm clubs from 1961 to 1963. He was a member of Boston's radio and television announcing crew from 1965 to 1968 and the Chicago White Sox' TV crew in 1969.

Parnell was mentioned in the 1981 Terry Cashman song "Talkin' Baseball".

Parnell was selected to the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame in 1997. He thereafter resided in New Orleans, Louisiana until his death in 2012 following a long battle with cancer.[1][2]


"Little soft pop-up...Petrocelli will take it...he does! The ball game is over! The Red Sox win it! And what a mob on this field! They're coming out of the stands from all over!" – Parnell on WHDH-TV, calling the last out of the final game of the Red Sox' regular season at Fenway Park, October 1, 1967, against the Minnesota Twins. The Sox had yet to learn whether they clinched the American League pennant or would need to travel to Detroit for a one-game playoff. The Detroit Tigers lost to the California Angels, and the Red Sox went on to the 1967 World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Parnell once said the southpaw's enemy at Fenway Park was the smallness of the foul territory, not the wall.[3]

See also


  1. ^ Massa, Dominic (March 20, 2012). "Mel Parnell, N.O. native and former Red Sox pitcher, dies at 89". WWLTV Eyewitness News. Archived from the original on March 22, 2012. Retrieved March 20, 2012.
  2. ^ Yellin, Lyons (March 20, 2012). "Boston Red Sox great Mel Parnell dies at 89". The Times Picayune. Retrieved March 20, 2012.
  3. ^ The Red Sox Reader. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 1991. p. 7. ISBN 0-395-58776-X.

External links

Preceded by
Carl Erskine
No-hitter pitcher
July 14, 1956
Succeeded by
Sal Maglie
Preceded by
Ray Yochim
New Orleans Pelicans manager
Succeeded by
Franchise relocated
Preceded by
Johnny Pesky
Seattle Rainiers manager
Succeeded by
Edo Vanni
1948 Boston Red Sox season

The 1948 Boston Red Sox season was the 48th season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished second in the American League (AL) with a record of 96 wins and 59 losses, including the loss of a one-game playoff to the Cleveland Indians after both teams had finished the regular schedule with identical 96–58 records. The first Red Sox season to be broadcast on television, broadcasts were then alternated between WBZ-TV and WNAC-TV but with the same broadcast team regardless of broadcasting station.

1949 Boston Red Sox season

The 1949 Boston Red Sox season was the 49th season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished second in the American League (AL) with a record of 96 wins and 58 losses. The Red Sox set a major league record which still stands for the most base on balls by a team in a season, with 835.

1949 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1949 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 16th annual midseason exhibition game for Major League Baseball all-stars between the American League (AL) and the National League (NL). The AL continued its early dominance of the Midsummer Classic with an 11–7 win at Ebbets Field, home field of the NL's Brooklyn Dodgers. The win moved the AL's all-time record in the game to 12–4.

The 1949 All-Star Game was the first to have African-Americans in the line-up. Jackie Robinson of the Dodgers started for the NL at second base, while his teammates catcher Roy Campanella and pitcher Don Newcombe also played for the NL. Cleveland Indians' outfielder Larry Doby played the final four innings of the game for the AL.

1949 Major League Baseball season

The 1949 Major League Baseball season.

1949 New York Yankees season

The 1949 New York Yankees season was the team's 47th season in New York, and its 49th season overall. The team finished with a record of 97–57, winning their 16th pennant, finishing 1 game ahead of the Boston Red Sox. New York was managed by Casey Stengel in his first year. The Yankees played their home games at Yankee Stadium. In the World Series, they defeated the Brooklyn Dodgers in 5 games.

1950 Boston Red Sox season

The 1950 Boston Red Sox season was the 50th season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished third in the American League (AL) with a record of 94 wins and 60 losses, four games behind the AL and World Series champion New York Yankees. The team scored 1,027 runs, one of only six teams to score more than 1,000 runs in a season in the modern era (post-1900), and, along with the 1999 Cleveland Indians, are one of two teams to do so post-World War II. This was the last time that the Red Sox would win at least 90 games until their return to the World Series in 1967. The 1950 Red Sox compiled a .302 batting average, and are the last major league team to record a .300 team batting average.

1952 Boston Red Sox season

The 1952 Boston Red Sox season was the 52nd season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished sixth in the American League (AL) with a record of 76 wins and 78 losses.

1953 Boston Red Sox season

The 1953 Boston Red Sox season was the 53rd season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished fourth in the American League (AL) with a record of 84 wins and 69 losses.

1954 Boston Red Sox season

The 1954 Boston Red Sox season was the 54th season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished fourth in the American League (AL) with a record of 69 wins and 85 losses.

Al Naples

Aloysius Francis Naples (born August 29, 1926) is an American Major League Baseball shortstop who played for the St. Louis Browns in 1949. He is one of about 200 players in major league history to be credited with exactly one base hit.

Naples was born in Staten Island, New York and attended Georgetown University, where he majored in Latin, from 1946 to 1949. He signed a professional contract with the St. Louis Browns in 1949 and made his major league debut starting against the Boston Red Sox on June 26, 1949. Naples had one hit, a double to right field, against Boston ace Mel Parnell (who won 25 games that year, including Naples' debut).Naples sat on the bench for a month (the Browns already had Eddie Pellagrini and John Sullivan to play shortstop), then started one more game and was sent down to the Class B Springfield Browns of the Three-I League. That year, Naples hit .232 with no home runs in 56 games for Springfield, who finished last and folded after the season. On October 21, 1949, Naples was released unconditionally by the Browns.Naples signed with the Browns' other Class B affiliate, the Wichita Falls Spudders of the Big State League for the 1950 season but did not play for the Spudders that year or for any other professional team afterwards; at age 23, his professional baseball career was over.

Art Gleeson

Arthur Levi Gleeson (September 29, 1906 – November 27, 1964) was an American baseball announcer.

Gleeson was born in Sumpter, Oregon. He got his start calling games for teams in the California League games during the late 1930s and early 1940s. Gleeson served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and worked for the Armed Forces Network after being discharged from submarine service., From 1946-1949 he was play-by-play announcer for the Oakland Oaks of the Pacific Coast League. In 1950, he joined Mutual Broadcasting System, where he called New York Yankees games with Mel Allen from 1951–1952 and the "Mutual Game of the Day" from 1953-1959. From 1956-1960 Gleeson was the sports director of MBS. Gleeson joined the Boston Red Sox broadcast team in 1960, calling games with Curt Gowdy, Bill Crowley (1960), and Ned Martin (1961–1964) for five seasons.

Gleeson died of an apparent heart attack in a hotel room in Gold Beach, Oregon after the 1964 season. He was replaced by Mel Parnell in the Red Sox booth.

Bob Wellman

Robert Joseph Wellman (July 15, 1925 – December 20, 1994) was an American professional baseball player, manager and scout. He managed for a quarter-century in minor league baseball, winning more than 1,600 games — with his 1966 Spartanburg Phillies setting a Western Carolinas League record by ripping off a 25-game winning streak. He also briefly played Major League Baseball.

Wellman was a native of Norwood, Ohio. An outfielder and first baseman, he batted and threw right-handed, stood 6 feet 4 inches (1.93 m) tall and weighed 210 pounds (95 kg). He had two brief trials — four games in 1948 and 11 more in 1950 — with the Philadelphia Athletics of the American League, batting .286 in 25 at bats, with one triple, one home run (hit off Mel Parnell of the Boston Red Sox on April 23, 1950, at Shibe Park) and one run batted in. The rest of Wellman's uniformed career would be spent in the minors, first as a player (he led four consecutive leagues in home runs from 1954–57, including the Class A Western International League), then as a playing manager and manager.

His managing career began in 1955 with the Douglas Trojans, a Class D affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds in the Georgia State League, where his club finished in first place but fell in the playoffs. He would handle teams in the farm systems of the Reds (1955–59), Philadelphia Phillies (1961–76) and New York Mets (1977–80), compiling a win-loss record of 1,663 wins, 1,440 defeats (.536) with three playoff championships. His 1966 Spartanburg squad — which featured future major leaguers Larry Bowa, Denny Doyle, Barry Lersch, Ron Allen and Lowell Palmer — won 91 of 126 regular-season games, a .722 winning percentage (equivalent to 117 victories over a 162-game season). However, he spent only part of one season as a manager at the Triple-A level, with the 1970 Eugene Emeralds of the Pacific Coast League, and was released on May 25 after his team dropped 28 of its first 43 games. The next year, he resumed his success in Spartanburg.

After leading the 1980 Jackson Mets into the Texas League playoffs, Wellman hung up his uniform and became a Mets scout. He died in Villa Hills, Kentucky, at the age of 69.

Dave Morehead

David Michael Morehead (born September 5, 1942 in San Diego, California) is a former Major League Baseball pitcher. A right-hander, Morehead pitched for the Boston Red Sox (1963–68) and Kansas City Royals (1969–70).

As a rookie in 1963 Morehead broke into the Red Sox starting rotation and posted a 10-13 record with a 3.81 earned run average. He shut out the Washington Senators in his Major League debut on April 13. On May 12 of that same year, he pitched a one-hitter against the same Senators, the lone hit coming on a Chuck Hinton home run.

In 1964 Morehead went 8-15 and his ERA ballooned to 4.97. In 1965 he tied for the American League lead with 18 losses, against 10 victories, for a Red Sox team that finished next-to-last, with 100 losses. On September 16 of the latter year, the same day the Red Sox fired Pinky Higgins as general manager, Morehead no-hit the Cleveland Indians 2-0 before only 1,247 fans in a day game at Fenway Park, the lone baserunner coming on Rocky Colavito's second-inning walk. Not until Hideo Nomo in 2001 would another Red Sox pitch a no-hitter, and the next no-hitter at Fenway Park wouldn't come until 2002 (Derek Lowe), It was the fourth no-hitter by a Red Sox pitcher in a ten-year period, with Mel Parnell pitching one in 1956 and Earl Wilson and Bill Monbouquette both pitching one in 1962. Parnell's and Wilson's no-hitters, like Morehead's, had also been pitched at Fenway Park—one of Major League Baseball's most notorious hitter-friendly stadiums. It would be another 37 years before a Red Sox pitcher threw a no-hitter at Fenway.

Over the next three years, Morehead would be beset by arm ailments that limited him to 33 games pitched—one fewer than in 1965. He was a member of the Carl Yastrzemski-led 1967 Red Sox team that won the American League pennant and pitched two games in relief in the World Series, which the Red Sox lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games. Morehead was selected in the expansion draft by the Kansas City Royals and pitched in 21 games in 1969, 19 in relief. In 1970 he pitched in 28 games and posted a 3.62 ERA, the lowest of his career. In spring training of 1971, the Royals released him; he had pitched his final game at 28 years of age, the arm ailments having ended his career prematurely.

In his career, Morehead won 40 games against 64 losses with a 4.15 ERA and 627 strikeouts in 819.1 innings pitched. He also exhibited periods of wildness, walking 463 batters for just over 5 BB/9 innings. In each of his first three seasons, Morehead was second in the American League in walks with 99, 112 and 113 respectively.

Dick Brodowski

Richard Stanley Brodowski (July 26, 1932 – January 14, 2019) was a starting pitcher in Major League Baseball who played in 1952 and from 1955 through 1959 for the Boston Red Sox, Washington Senators and Cleveland Indians. He batted and threw right-handed, stood 6 feet 1 inch (1.85 m) tall and weighed 185 pounds (84 kg).

Brodowski signed with the Red Sox in 1951 and in his first pro season he won 21 games (in 26 decisions) in the Class D Ohio–Indiana League. Promoted all the way to Triple-A in 1952, he went 7–1 in ten starting assignments with seven complete games, earning a call up to the Red Sox at the age of 19. In 20 games pitched and 12 starts, he notched a 5–5 record and 4.41 earned run average with four complete games, taking his turn in a pitching rotation which included Mel Parnell, Mickey McDermott, Dizzy Trout and Sid Hudson, however he spent 1953–54 in military service and was ineffective after his return in 1955, spending one season with Boston before moving to Washington and Cleveland.

In his six-season, 72-game MLB career, Brodowski posted a 9–11 record with five complete games, five saves, and 85 strikeouts and a 4.76 ERA in 215​2⁄3 innings pitched. He allowed 212 hits and 124 bases on balls.

Ken Coleman

Kenneth Robert "Ken" Coleman (April 22, 1925 – August 21, 2003) was an American radio and television sportscaster for more than four decades (from 1947 to 1989).

Coleman was born in Hartford, Connecticut in 1925, the son of William (a salesman) and his wife Frances. The family subsequently moved to Dorchester, Massachusetts, and then to Quincy, Massachusetts, where he was raised. He graduated from North Quincy High School in 1943. While in high school, he was a pitcher on the North Quincy High School baseball team, and subsequently played in the semi-pro Park League. But he had dreams of being a sports broadcaster from the time he was a boy, when he enjoyed listening to the games on radio. After serving in the army, where he was a sergeant during World War II, He took oratory courses for one year at Curry College, and then broke into broadcasting in Rutland, Vermont in 1947, working for station WSYB. He called the play-by-play of the minor league Rutland Royals baseball team. He also was a newscaster and a deejay on the station. He then was hired at hometown team WJDA in Quincy MA, where he worked as a sports reporter until 1951; he then worked for a year at WNEB in Worcester. During this time, he was broadcasting Boston University football. He received critical praise for his college football play-by-play, which led to his big break: in 1952, he got the opportunity to broadcast for the NFL Cleveland Browns (1952–1965), calling play-by-play of every touchdown that Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown ever scored. He also began his MLB broadcasting career in Cleveland, calling Cleveland Indians games on television for ten seasons (1954–1963). In his first year with the Indians, Coleman called their record-setting 111-win season and their World Series loss to the New York Giants.

In 1966, Coleman was chosen to become a play-by-play announcer for the Boston Red Sox, replacing Curt Gowdy, who resigned after fifteen years of calling Red Sox games, to become a play-by-play announcer for NBC. Coleman joined a broadcast team that also included Ned Martin and Mel Parnell. He signed a three-year contract that paid him $40,000 per year. Coleman broadcast the 1967 World Series (which the Red Sox lost to the St. Louis Cardinals) for NBC television and radio. From 1975 to 1978 Coleman worked with the Cincinnati Reds' television crew.

Coleman broadcast college football for various teams, including Ohio State, Harvard, and BU. He was the play-by-play announcer for the 1968 Harvard-Yale football game, a game that will be forever be remembered for the incredible Harvard comeback from a 16-point deficit to tie Yale at 29-29. He also called NFL games for NBC in the early 1970s, and later in his career called Connecticut and Fairfield basketball games for Connecticut Public Television.

After the legendary radio combination of Ned Martin and Jim Woods were fired for failing to follow the dictates of sponsors following the 1978 season, Coleman returned to Boston in 1979. He broadcast the Red Sox' 1986 World Series loss to the New York Mets and two Red Sox ALCS (1986 and 1988). Coleman remained in the Red Sox radio booth until his retirement in 1989.

Additionally, he wrote books on sportscasting, was one of the founding fathers of the Red Sox Booster Club and the BoSox Club, and was intimately involved with the Jimmy Fund, which raises money for cancer research.

Coleman followed the routine of taking a swim in the Atlantic Ocean as often as he could through the late fall and into the earliest days of spring, until his death.

He was the father of the late Cleveland sports and newscaster Casey Coleman, who died in 2006 from pancreatic cancer.

Coleman was inducted into the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame on May 18, 2000 at the age of 75. He died three years later, aged 78, in Plymouth, Massachusetts, from complications of bacterial meningitis.In 1972, Coleman, along with Dick Stockton rotated play-by-play duties for New England Patriots preseason with no color commentators.

Len Matarazzo

Leonard Matarazzo (September 12, 1928 – June 19, 2015) was an American professional baseball player. On September 6, 1952, the right-handed pitcher appeared in the Major Leagues for the only time. Pitching for the Philadelphia Athletics, he worked one scoreless inning in relief against the Boston Red Sox. But he was not given another opportunity to pitch that year and spent the final two seasons of his six-year pro career in the minor leagues.Matarazzo was a 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m), 195 lb (88 kg) native of New Castle, Pennsylvania. In his fourth pro season, as a member of the 1952 Fayetteville A's, he led the Class B Carolina League with a 22–8 win–loss record and was named the league's Most Valuable Player.

He was recalled by the parent Athletics in September. In his only MLB appearance, at Fenway Park, he pitched the bottom of the eighth inning against the Red Sox in a game the Athletics were trailing, 6–4. He allowed an infield single to Dom DiMaggio and a base on balls to Billy Goodman, but retired Mel Parnell, Al Zarilla and Vern Stephens to escape unscathed.Matarrazo was sent back to Fayetteville for the 1953 season, and retired after the 1954 campaign.

List of Boston Red Sox Opening Day starting pitchers

The Boston Red Sox are a Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise based in Boston, Massachusetts. They have played in the American League since it was founded in 1901, and the American League East since divisions were introduced in 1969. The first game of each baseball season for a team is played on Opening Day, for which being named the starting pitcher is an honor. That honor is often given to the player who is expected to lead the pitching staff that season, although there are various strategic reasons why a team's best pitcher might not start on Opening Day.

Mickey Witek

Nicholas Joseph "Mickey" Witek (December 19, 1915 – August 24, 1990) was an American professional baseball player. He played all or part of seven seasons in Major League Baseball during the 1940s for the New York Giants and New York Yankees, primarily as a second baseman. A native of Luzerne, Pennsylvania, he threw and batted right-handed and was listed as 5 feet 10 inches (1.78 m) tall, and weighing 170 pounds (77 kg).

Witek started and ended his career with the Yankee organization, but played all but two of his 581 MLB games as a member of the National League Giants, as a second baseman, shortstop and third baseman. In 1943, as the Giants' regular second baseman, he appeared in 153 games, batting .314 (fifth in the NL), and amassing 195 hits (second in the league). He led the Senior Circuit in singles (172) and finished 12th in the National League Most Valuable Player voting. Defensively, he led NL second basemen in fielding percentage in 1942, and although he topped the league's second basemen in errors with 31 in 1943, he also led the NL in putouts and assists that season.

In 1944–45 Witek's career was interrupted while he served in the United States Coast Guard during World War II. His playing time diminished with the Giants in 1946 as Buddy Blattner claimed the regular second base job, and Witek finished his major league career with one at bat for the 1949 Yankees, as a pinch hitter, singling against Mel Parnell of the Boston Red Sox. He played one more season in the minor leagues in 1950 before retiring.


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