Mel Ott has been dead for 63 years now, retired for 74, and only those approaching or into their ninth decade really remember him by sight as one of the most popular and successful players baseball has ever produced. He was to the New York Giants what Lou Gehrig was to the New York Yankees—a role model, a hero to young fans, an example of clean living, and a tremen-dously productive ballplayer. When the Giants retired his No. 4 in 1948, he was only the third player so honored in baseball—after Gehrig, and his teammate Carl Hubbell. Ott’s 511 home…

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Marty Appel

Yankees historian Marty Appel is the author of 24 books including Thurman Munson: An Autobiography (with Munson), and Munson: The Life and Death of a Yankee Captain.

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