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mike meola, 1939 World Wide Gum #V351A

Player: Meola, Mike

Card: 1939 World Wide Gum #V351A

Position: RHP

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Emile Michael Meola (October 19, 1905 in New York City – September 1, 1976 in Fair Lawn, NJ) was a pitcher in Major League Baseball who played between the 1933 and 1936 seasons. Listed at 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m), 175 lb., Meola batted and threw right-handed. Meola started his baseball career in 1928 with the Chambersburg Maroons of the Class D Blue Ridge League.

He was born to Italian immigrant parents Pascuala and Filomina Meola. His father was a contractor in the refuse business in 1920 who had come to the United States in 1881. The couple had five sons; the family resided on Christopher Street in Lower Manhattan.

In 1934, one dramatic moment came before the regular season got under way. As Mike was leaving his downtown hotel, Los Angeles police handcuffed him, saying, “You’re just the guy we’re looking for. You’re wanted for murder in Chicago.” As the wagon was summoned, a couple of newsboys vouched for him as the new pitcher for the Angels, and he was released. Meola believed it was all a practical joke, but the officers insisted he was a double for a well-known racketeer.

That year, Meola enjoyed one of the best seasons ever for a pitcher in minor league history, after going 20–5 with a 2.90 ERA for the Los Angeles Angels of the Pacific Coast League. The next year he finished with a 19–8 mark. He divided his playing time between the St. Louis Browns and Boston Red Sox in 1936, his last major league season. He also pitched for the Charlotte Hornets in 1931, another top minor league team.

In a three-year majors career, Mike posted a 0–3 record with 15 strikeouts and an 8.16 ERA in 18 appearances, including three starts, one complete game, one save, and 43.0 innings of work. He also spent more than a decade in the minors, pitching for the Charlotte, Jersey City, Toronto and Syracuse teams, among others.

Following his baseball retirement in 1939, he worked as a demolition contractor in New York. A resident of Fair Lawn, New Jersey, Meola died there at age 70.

(excerpted from SABR, Baseball Almanac, BR Bullpen & Wikipedia)


Photo from MiLB.com


Mike is part of the New York City Born Player Tour – Go to the Next Stop

Mike is part of the Boston Red Sox Player Tour – Go to the Next Stop

See all Mike’s baseball cards at TCDB

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