Wednesday, July 30, 2014

MISSING IN ACTION- 1978 BILL MELTON

Here's a "missing" 1978 Topps card for former White Sox home run champ Bill Melton.
Take a look:


"Beltin' Bill" is one of the most under-the-radar home run champs of the 1970's.
As a member of the Chicago White Sox in 1971, he lead the American League in taters with 33, just one ahead of Detroit Tiger Norm Cash and Oakland A's Reggie Jackson.
If you can believe it, Melton was the first Chicago White Sox player EVER to lead the league in homers. And to this day has only been joined by teammate Dick Allen, who led the league in 1972 and 1974.
(Let's see if rookie Jose Abreu keeps it going this season and joins them.)
Anyway, a year later White Sox fans were expecting a power surge in the South Side with the addition of Dick Allen to the line up.
But while Allen held up his end of the bargain, Melton was sidelined more than half the season with back injuries, hitting only seven homer in 57 games.
He'd never really get back on track, as he'd top off with 21 home runs in 1974, but would find himself out of the Major Leagues by the age of 31 after playing in 50 games for the Cleveland Indians in 1977.
That year he totaled 133 at-bats, with no home runs and 14 runs batted in with a .241 batting average.
But I still think he should have gotten a card over the likes of John Verhoeven or Jeff Byrd!
All told, Melton would fashion a 10-year career, hitting 160 homers while driving in 591 runs.

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