Gene Rye

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Eugene Rudolph Rye [Half-Pint] (November 15, 1906 – January 21, 1980) was a utility player in Major League Baseball who played briefly for the Boston Red Sox during the 1931 season. Listed at 5'6", 165 lb., Rye batted left-handed and threw right-handed. His birth name was Eugene Rudolph Mercantelli, the son of Amedeo Menotti Mercantelli and Daria "Dora" Frediani. He was born in Chicago, Illinois.

Mostly used as a pinch-hitter by Boston, Rye also shared duties at left field with Al Van Camp and Jack Rothrock. In a 17-game career, he posted a .179 batting average (7-for-39) with three runs and one RBI without extrabases. In 10 outfield appearances, he collected 10 outs and committed an error for a .944 fielding percentage.

Rye hit three home runs in one inning in 1930 for the Waco Cubs of the Texas League.[1] The third home run is considered one of the greatest non-MLB home runs, and the greatest minor league baseball home run, of all time.[2]

Rye died at the age of 73 in Park Ridge, Illinois.

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