Lennie Merullo

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Lennie Merullo
Shortstop
Born: (1917-05-05) May 5, 1917 (age 97)
East Boston, Massachusetts
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 12, 1941 for the Chicago Cubs
Last MLB appearance
August 22, 1947 for the Chicago Cubs
Career statistics
Batting average .240
Hits 497
Home runs 6
Runs batted in 152
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Leonard Richard Merullo (born May 5, 1917) is an American former professional baseball player who played shortstop in the Major Leagues from 1941–47. He was born in East Boston, Massachusetts.

Chicago Cubs[edit]

Merullo (left) with Johnny Pesky, 2008

Merullo played shortstop for the Chicago Cubs for seven years in the major leagues in the 1940s. He appeared in three games during the 1945 World Series against two-time MVP Hal Newhouser, pitchers Virgil Trucks, Tommy Bridges, and slugger Hank Greenberg of the Detroit Tigers, who defeated the Cubs in seven games in the Series—the last one the Cubs have played in as of 2013. With the death of Andy Pafko on October 8, 2013, Merullo is the only living man to have played for the Cubs in a World Series. Merullo's major league career began in 1941, and in 1942-45 he won the shortstop job, with Stan Hack playing third base and Merullo's roommate, Phil Cavarretta, at first base. In 1946, Billy Jurges, Bobby Sturgeon and Merullo shared the shortstop position until Merullo won the position back again in 1947. During this period, Merullo was known to have the quickest throwing arm in baseball.[citation needed]

Scout[edit]

After retiring from professional baseball, Merullo was chief scout for the Cubs from 1950–72, signing, among others, relief pitcher Moe Drabowsky. He left the Cubs in 1973 to join the then-fledgling Major League Baseball Scouting Bureau, where he served until his retirement at the age of 85 in 2003.

Personal life[edit]

Merullo has four sons. His eldest son is nicknamed "Boots" because on the day he was born, Merullo famously made four errors in a single inning having been informed by the club's owner, Philip Wrigley, that his wife had gone into labor. The following day the Chicago newspapers suggested his newborn baby should be called "Boots" in honor of the occasion.[2][3]

Boots went on to play in the Pittsburgh Pirates' minor league system for three seasons[4] and Merullo's grandson, Matt Merullo, had a six-year career playing for major league teams, mainly the Chicago White Sox. Matt Merullo was a scout for the Arizona Diamondbacks and is now Manager of the Aberdeen IronBirds.

Accolades[edit]

Amongst many accolades, Merullo was named to the Hall of Fame of the Cape Cod Baseball League, having led the Barnstable Townies to the old Cape League title in 1935. He was awarded Scout of the Year in 1990, and the prestigious Judge Emil Fuchs Award for long and meritorious service to baseball in 2006.

References[edit]

  1. ^ <http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/m/merulle01.shtml
  2. ^ Krider, Dave (April 30, 2010). "Another Merullo could be on path to Major Leagues". MaxPreps. Retrieved June 8, 2014. 
  3. ^ Ashway, Denton (May 27, 2014). "Merullo the last link to Cubs World Series days". Gainsville Times. Retrieved June 8, 2014. 
  4. ^ http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=merull001leo