Wednesday, March 31, 2010

1976 Topps #399 - Luis Melendez

  • Luis Melendez was a major league outfielder from 1970-1977. Luis was signed by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1968. He played in the minors from 1968-1970. The Cardinals called Melendez up in September 1970 after he hit .306 in AAA. Luis played in 21 games in 1970 and batted .300 in 70 at bats for the Cardinals.

  • Melendez was a backup outfielder and pinch hitter in 1971. He played in 88 games and batted .225 in 173 at bats. Luis shared center field with Jose Cruz in 1972 and 1973. In 1972 Melendez batted .238 in 118 games.  Melendez hit a grand slam against Ray Sadecki on June 24, 1972. Luis had his best year in 1973 when he hit .267 with 18 doubles in 341 at bats.

  • Luis was a backup OF and pinch hitter again in 1974. He batted .218 in 124 at bats in '74. Melendez got more playing time in 1975 (110 games, 291 at bats) and batted .265. Luis got off to a slow start in 1976 (3 for 24) and wasn't playing much for the Cardinals. On May 19 he was traded to the San Diego Padres for Bill Greif. Melendez batted .244 in 119 at bats for the Padres to finish the 1976 season.

  • Melendez spent most of the 1977 season in AAA Hawaii. He had a brief stint with the Padres in May and early June and was hitless in three at bats. Luis became a free agent after the 1977 season and signed with the Toronto Blue Jays. He was assigned to Toronto's AAA Syracuse club in 1978 and retired after the season at the age of 29.

  • Luis Melendez managed and coached in the minors after his retirement from playing. He coached for the Gulf Coast Phillies in 2009.

  • Liked to face: Randy Jones (.571 in 14 AB); Mike Marshall (.500 in 18 AB); Ray Sadecki (.480 in 25 AB)
  • Hated to face: Steve Renko (.000 in 11 AB); Don Sutton (.063 in 16 AB); Dave Giusti (.067 in 15 AB)

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