Mel Hoderlein

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Melvin Anthony Hoderlein

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Biographical Information[edit]

Mel Hoderlein was signed as an amateur free agent by the Cincinnati Reds before the 1942 season. The nineteen-year-old infielder was assigned to the Cordele Reds of the class D Georgia-Florida League, where he hit .249 in 96 games and then finished up the year with the Columbia Reds of the class B Sally League appearing in only nine games but hitting .389, finishing up his first season in pro ball with a combined .262 average in 390 at-bats.

Before the 1943 season arrived, Mel was inducted into the United States military. He served the next three years (1943-1945) with the Army Air Force during World War II. On his return from service, Mel had been acquired by the Chicago Cubs. Hoderlein spent 34 games of the 1946 season with the Anniston Rams of the class B Southeastern League and 28 with the Macon Peaches of the class A Sally League, hitting a combined .304 for the year.

Hoderlein had four solid seasons (1947-1950) in the high minors with the Birmingham Barons and the Louisville Colonels. He wound up with the Boston Red Sox and made his debut with the big boys on August 16, 1951. He came up to Boston after hitting .312 at Louisville. In his brief trial, he hit .357 (5-for-14) but was traded to the Chicago White Sox after the season. But he never appeared in a game for Chicago before being dealt to the Washington Senators on May 3, 1952. Mel spent the next three summers (1952-1954) with the Griffith Stadium team as a back-up infielder and on June 14, 1954 he was traded by the Senators to the Detroit Tigers for Johnny Pesky.

Hoderlein was at various times the property of seven different major league clubs, playing in the majors for two of them. Most of his at-bats came with the 1952 Washington Senators, when he had almost as many games at second base as the regular, Floyd Baker. After two partial seasons, Mel finished out his baseball time with the Buffalo Bisons of the International League in 1955. He had spent nine seasons in the minors with a .277 career hitting average in 898 games. His major league numbers show a .252 hitting average while appearing in 118 games with a .978 fielding percentage.

Hoderlein, who was retired from the purchasing department at Cincinnati Millicron, died May 21, 2001, at the age of 77 in Mount Carmel, OH.


Baseball Players of the 1950s

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