Tuesday, December 29, 2009

1976 Topps #309 - Bill Melton

  • Bill Melton was a third baseman who played from 1968-1977, mostly with the Chicago White Sox. Melton was signed by the Chicago White Sox in 1964 and played in the minors from 1964-1968. Bill was brought up in May 1968 but struggled to keep his average above .200 so he was sent back down at the end of the month. Melton came back to the White Sox to stay in September. Altogether Bill played in 34 games and batted .266 with 2 HR and 16 RBI.
  • In 1969 Bill started at third base for the White Sox. He batted .255 with 23 HR and 87 RBI in 157 games. Melton split time between RF (71 games) and 3B (70 games) in 1970. He didn't make any errors in RF, but his fielding percentage was .926 (league average .950) at third base. Bill batted .263 with 33 HR and 96 RBI in 1970. This was the last season in which Melton would appear in the outfield.
  • Melton's best season was 1971. He made the AL All Star team and was 13th in MVP voting. Melton won the AL home run title with 33 homers. Playing exclusively at third base, Bill batted .269 in 150 games and knocked in 86 runs.
  • Bill had a tough time in 1972. He was batting .245 with 7 HR and 30 RBI after 57 games when a herniated disk ended his season on June 23. After the injury Melton's power numbers were never quite as good.
  • Melton batted .277 with 20 HR and 87 RBI in 1973. By this time White Sox announcer Harry Caray was getting on Bill for his defense. In some seasons (1971, 1973) Bill was right at or slightly above league average at third base while he was below average in other seasons (1970, 1972, 1974, 1975).
  • In 1974 Melton batted .242 with 21 HR and 63 RBI in 136 games. He batted .240 with 15 HR and 70 RBI in 149 games in 1975. After the 1975 season Melton was traded to the California Angels with Steve Dunning for Morris Nettles and Jim Spencer.
  • Bill spent one season (1976) with the Angels, batting .208 with 6 HR and 42 RBI in 118 games. About half of those games were at DH and the other half were split between 1B and 3B. After the 1976 season Melton was traded to the Cleveland Indians for cash and Stan Perzanowski. Bill played in only 50 games in 1977, batting .241 with no homers and 14 RBI. He became a free agent after the season, didn't sign with anyone, and retired at the age of 31.
  • Melton is now a commentator for White Sox broadcasts.
  • Liked to face: Jim Slaton (.364 with 4 HR in 44 AB); Ron Perranoski (.462 with 4 HR in 13 AB); Skip Lockwood (.394 with 4 HR in 33 AB)
  • Hated to face: Dean Chance (.000 in 10 AB); Ken Sanders (.000 in 12 AB); Jim Colborn (.091 in 22 AB); Bert Blyleven (.123 in 65 AB)


  1. Another favorite from my youth.
    Beltin' Bill Melton!
    I will always remember Harry's bad joke..."Third base is the hot corner and our 3rd baseman is Melton"

  2. Soutth siders loved Melton as much as the northsiders loved Santo.