Mel Parnell

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Mel Parnell
Mel Parnell 1953 Bowman.jpg
Pitcher
Born: (1922-06-13)June 13, 1922
New Orleans, Louisiana
Died: March 20, 2012(2012-03-20) (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
Career statistics
Win–loss record 123–75
Earned run average 3.50
Strikeouts 732
Teams
Career highlights and awards

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

Career[edit]

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). Following a victory in Fenway Park during which Johnny Pesky hit the deciding home run near the right field foul pole, Parnell christened it the "Pesky Pole" or Pesky's Pole.

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. He pitched a no-hitter on July 14, 1956 against the Chicago White Sox at Fenway, winning 4-0. 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]

Quote[edit]

"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[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Massa, Dominic (March 20, 2012). "Mel Parnell, N.O. native and former Red Sox pitcher, dies at 89". WWLTV Eyewitness News. 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[edit]

Preceded by
Carl Erskine
No-hitter pitcher
July 14, 1956
Succeeded by
Sal Maglie