Friends dubbed the guitar-playing balladeer from the hills of North Carolina "Mountain
Music." Others taunted the gentle, 6'5" giant because of his large, floppy ears.
He blew a chance with the Yankees when he couldn't ignore the Cubs' Gabby Hartnett
needling during an exhibition game. After Melton was returned to Baltimore, GM Jack
Ogden gave him a bonus every time he went after his tormentors. Twice, the huge lefthander
charged into enemy dugouts.
He was 20-9 and had a league-high seven saves as a
Giants rookie in 1937, but was beaten twice by the Yankees in the World Series. He
was an under-.500 pitcher from 1939 on, and left the majors in 1944 after an arm
injury and conflicts with management.