Melvin Nicholas Held
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 1", Weight 178 lb.
Right-hander Mel Held was signed as an amateur free agent by the St. Louis Browns before the 1947 season. He went 13-4 right out of the gate with the Mayfield Clothiers of the class D Kitty League but unknown at the time the young pitcher would spend nine years in the minors before getting his only chance in the major leagues.
Held had six double-digit winning seasons during that run but a 24-7 record and a 2.87 ERA for the San Antonio Missions and a berth on the AA Texas League All-Star team in 1955 got him a two-week stay with the big league Baltimore Orioles in 1956, where he appeared in four games in relief, had no decisions and finished up the year with the Minneapolis Millers of the American Association, going 6-3 with a 5.52 ERA.
Held had two more decent years in the minors going 10-7 with a 2.71 ERA for the Vancouver Mounties in 1957, and he backed it up with the same club in 1958 with a 7-7 mark, but in 1959, which was his last year in pro baseball, he appeared with five different teams and closed out the season and his career with a 1-6 record. Held had spent 13 seasons in the minors (1947-1959) and compiled a 131-117 record and a 3.59 ERA while pitching 2,107 innings.
Held had this to say: "My biggest thrill was pitching in Yankee Stadium, I got Mickey Mantle to pop out, but Yogi Berra hit a double off me. I remember Don Larsen yelling out at me when I was out there on the mound. We had been good friends in the minors. He called me 'Country,' and I could hear him from the Yankee bench, 'How ya doin' Country. How do ya like it in the bigs, Country."
He is also in the Northeast Indiana Baseball Association Hall of Fame.