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Mel Hall

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Melvin Hall Jr.

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[edit] Biographical Information

Outfielder Mel Hall was a valuable player for several teams in his 13-year major league career and also played a number of seasons in Japan.

Born in Lyons, New York, Hall was selected by the Chicago Cubs in the second round of the 1978 amateur draft. He made his pro debut that summer with the GCL Cubs, hitting .290 in 43 games. After hitting .319 with 24 home runs with the Midland Cubs in 1981, he earned a September call-up to the majors. In 10 games, he went 1-for-11, but his sole hit was his first big league homer, a two-run shot off Scott Sanderson of the Montreal Expos. With the Iowa Cubs in 1982, he hit .329 while clubbing 32 home runs and leading the American Association with 116 runs scored and 34 doubles. He was named the circuit's Rookie of the Year and earned another late-season shot with Chicago. As the Cubs' starting centerfielder for the last month of the season, he hit .263 in 24 games.

Hall started 1983 as Chicago's regular centerfielder and went on to hit .283 with 17 homers and a .488 slugging percentage. He finished third in NL Rookie of the Year voting behind Darryl Strawberry and Craig McMurtry. In the middle of the next season, 1984, he was traded to the Cleveland Indians as part of the deal that brought Rick Sutcliffe to the Cubs and sent Joe Carter to the Indians. Following the trade, he saw more playing time in left field, and between the two clubs, he hit .265 with 11 home runs in 131 games. He started 1985 well, hitting .318 through 23 games, when his season was ended due to injuries sustained in a car accident. However, he bounced back and was Cleveland's regular in left for the next three seasons. He hit at least .280 in each of those years and clubbed 18 home runs in both 1986 and 1987.

"There's never a time when Mel doesn't play as hard as anyone on this team." - Don Mattingly

Prior to the 1989 season, Hall was traded to the New York Yankees for Joel Skinner and Turner Ward. He played four years for the Yankees and seemed to enjoy the media attention. In his best season for New York, he hit .285 with 19 home runs in 1991. The following summer, he drove in a career-high 81 runs.

"We just don't look fearsome out there in pink and white." - Hall, commenting on his 1994 uniform with Chiba Lotte

Hall became a free agent after the 1992 season and went to play in Japan. He played two seasons with the Chiba Lotte Marines, hitting 30 home runs in 1993 and 22 the following year. He then played for the Chunichi Dragons in 1995, hitting 12 homers in 50 games. He returned to the U.S. in 1996, when he signed with the San Francisco Giants. After posting a lowly .120 average in 25 games, mostly as a pinch hitter, he was released. He then briefly played for the Nashville Sounds in the Chicago White Sox organization.

Hall later played in the independent Central Baseball League for two season. In 2002, he hit .323 in 75 games, split between the Fort Worth Cats and the Springfield/Ozark Mountain Ducks. The following summer, he appeared in 22 games for the Coastal Bend Aviators.

After his playing days, Hall was a minor league batting instructor and coach for five years. He also was general manager and head coach of the Wicked Sports Association, focusing on softball, and owned and operated the Denton School of Baseball/Softball.

On June 21, 2007, Hall was arrested for sexual assault. The allegations were leveled by two women that played on a basketball team that he coached in the late 1990s; the victims were both underage at the time. He was held in lieu of $35,000 bail on the two charges and, according to reports, also had an outstanding arrest warrant on a theft charge. After being found guilty, he was sentenced to 45 years in prison on June 19, 2009. He must serve at least 22 and half years before becoming eligible for parole.

Hall's father, Mel Hall Sr., was in the Cincinnati Reds chain in 1949.

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