Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Final Card: Merritt Ranew

Merritt Ranew (#62) first came to my attention as one of the characters in Jim Bouton's book Ball Four. A backup catcher, Ranew began and ended his short career with expansion teams (Houston Colt .45s, Seattle Pilots).

Merritt was signed by the Milwaukee Braves in 1957. He played 5 seasons in the Braves' farm system, finally reaching triple-A in 1961. After the 1961 season, he was drafted by the expansion Houston Colt .45s as their 17th pick. The #2 catcher behind ex-Pirate Hal Smith, Merritt started 51 games in his rookie season.

Before the 1963 season, he was traded to the Cubs. Although he was the Cubs 3rd-string catcher, this was the only season where he managed to stay out of the minor leagues.

The next few seasons were spent hopping from one team to another, while playing mostly in the minor leagues: to the Braves in June 1964; to the Giants prior to the 1965 season; sold to the Angels in May 1965; sent to the Yankees prior to 1968; sent to the Pilots prior to 1969. He did not play in the major leagues from 1966 to 1968.

Ranew's final major-league season was in 1969, with the expansion Seattle Pilots. He appeared in 54 games, mostly as a pinch-hitter.

After the 1969 season, he was traded to the Senators for infielder Frank Coggins. Ranew continued in the minors for 2 more seasons before retiring.


Anonymous said...

He reminds me of a young Mark McGwire

Goose Joak said...

My goodness, I like the colors on this card.