Sunday, November 25, 2012

1951 Topps Red Back #10 - Mel Parnell

Mel Parnell (b. 1922 - d. 2012) played in the majors from 1947 to 1956 for the Red Sox.  He had a brief, yet stellar career.  He went 123-75, had a 3.50 ERA and 732 strikeouts.  He won 25 games for the Red Sox in 1949, a season in which he was named to the All Star team and finished 4th in the AL MVP voting.  For six seasons (1948 to 1953) he would win 15 or more games in 5 of those seasons, and would win more than 20 twice (25 in 1949 and 21 in 1953).  Parnell threw a no hitter for the Red Sox in 1956 shortly before his career was prematurely ended with a torn muscle in his throwing arm.  I would think that if the types of surgeries that exist today were used back when he played, Parnell would have likely went on to have a Hall of Fame career.

I looked up two other pitchers who are in the Hall of Fame with similar length of career as Parnell, Addie Joss (pitched 9 seasons) and Sandy Koufax (pitched 12 seasons) and although his won-loss record is similar (a career .621 win percentage) to those other two (Koufax had a career winning percentage of .655 {165-87} and Joss had a career winning percentage of .623 {160-97}), he doesn't hold a candle to Koufax's accolades (one MVP, 3 Cy Young Awards and 3 World Series Rings) or Joss' other career numbers (1.89 ERA or 4 seasons with 20 or more wins).

I feel like Parnell could get some HOF consideration via the Veterans Committee, but I doubt he will ever be enshrined in Cooperstown.

I do wish I had tried to get him TTM last year before he passed, his autograph would be a nice addition to my collection.

Deceased: 8
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