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matt merullo, 1990 fleer #542, white sox

Player: Merullo, Matt

Card: 1990 Fleer #542

Position: C/1B

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"My [second] day in the Major Leagues, my father and mother showed up, and I took my hat off and I got a Sharpie as I was warming up. It was opening day in Chicago and I didn't expect to play. I found out I was going be the starting catcher. I had just got called up and I found myself catching the home opener. My dad wasn't too far from the dugout, so I wrote, 'What fun, huh?' and I flipped it to him. He still has it to this day." (Matt Merullo, about his father Len "Boots" Merullo).

Matthew Bates Merullo (born August 4, 1965 in Winchester, MA) is a former professional baseball player. He played all or part of six seasons in Major League Baseball(MLB) from 1989–95, primarily as a catcher for the White Sox, Indians and Twins.

Matt was selected by the Chicago White Sox in the 7th round of the 1986 MLB Draft. He made his major league debut on April 12, 1989 and played his final game for the Minnesota Twins in 1995. During Matt's professional career, he had to deal with one knee and three elbow operations.

Matt is part of four generations of pro baseball players. His grandfather, Lennie Merullo, had played in the majors, and his father Len "Boots" Merullo, Jr. had played in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization, after appearing in the 1958 Hearst Sandlot Classic. In 2014, his son, Nicholas Merullo, the fourth generation to play pro baseball, played in the Baltimore Orioles chain.

Matt still tells the story of how his father became known as "Boots." Lennie Merullo, the first generation of Merullo's to play and Matt's grandfather, made his Major League debut in 1941, the summer before his son Len was born. On Sept. 13, 1942, the day his wife went into labor, Lennie was playing in the nightcap of a doubleheader with the Boston Braves. When Cubs owner Philip Wrigley got word to the shortstop that his wife had been taken to hospital, the infielder committed four errors on four consecutive plays.

The misplays, still a Major League record, prompted Chicago-area newspapers to suggest the nickname "Boots" for the newest Merullo. Today, Len's wife -- Matt's grandmother -- still uses the moniker for her son.

Since retiring, he founded Pro Advantage Baseball in Connecticut. He also served as an area scout for the Arizona Diamondbacks in New England, signing Evan Scribner, Michael Belfiore and Matthew Torra. He became a manager in 2013-2014 with the Aberdeen IronBirds.

(excerpted from Baseball Almanac, BR Bullpen & Wikipedia)


1990 Upper Deck #67


Matt is also part of the Chicago White Sox Players Tour – Go To the Next Stop

Mike is also part of the Cleveland Indians Players Tour – Go To the Next Stop

See all Matt’s baseball cards at TCDB

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