Melton, Cliff

Primary Position: Starting pitcher
Birthplace: Brevard

First, Middle Names:  Clifton George
Nicknames: Mickey Mouse, Mountain Music

Date of Birth:  Jan. 3, 1912     Date and Place of Death: July 28, 1986, Baltimore, MD  Burial: Most Holy Redeemer Memorial Park, Baltimore, MD

High School: Black Mountain High School, Black Mountain, NC
College: Did Not Attend

Bats: L Throws: L        Height and Weight: 6-5, 203
Debut Year: 1937        Final Year: 1944          Years Played: 8
Team and Years: New York Giants, 1937-44

Career Summary
G          W        L          Sv        ERA     IP             SO         WAR
272    86      80       16        3.42     1453.2  660      +15.3

Awards/Honors: All-Star, 1942; Boys of Summer Top 100

Cliff Melton seemed destined for stardom after the big lefty struck out a record 13 batters in his major-league debut in 1937 and then won 20 games in his initial season. Those victories, however, would amount to almost a quarter of the career total that he would accumulate over the next seven years as Melton became another promising pitcher whose arm gave out.

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Coan, Gil

Position: Outfield
Birthplace: Monroe

First, Middle Names: Gilbert Fitzgerald
Date of Birth:  Jan. 18, 1922   Date and Place of Death: Feb. 5, 2020, Brevard, NC
Burial: Gillespie Evergreen Cemetery, Brevard, NC

High School: Mineral Springs High School, Mineral Springs, NC
College: Brevard College, Brevard

Bats:    L          Throws: R        Height and Weight: 6-0, 180
Debut Year: 1945       Final Year: 1956          Years Played: 11
Teams and Years: Washington Senators, 1946-53; Baltimore Orioles, 1954-55; Chicago White Sox, 1955; N.Y. Giants. 1955-56

Career Summary
G          AB       H         R          RBI      HR       BA.      OBP.    SLG.     WAR
918      2877    731      384      278    39        .254     .316     .359     +1.9

Gilbert Fitzgerald Coan was a 23-year-old, fleet-footed kid outfielder when he debuted with the Washington Senators in 1946. He would play 10 more years in the major leagues, most of them for the woeful Senators. The team, a charter member of the American League in 1901, had once been competitive back in the days when Walter Johnson commanded the pitching mound and Goose Goslin and Sam Rice roamed the outfield.

But by the time Coan arrived, the Senators could count only three winning seasons since their last pennant in 1933 during Franklin Roosevelt’s first term. Frustrated fans had resurrected the ditty about Washington that Charles Dryden, a legendary baseball writer, coined during an earlier period of team futility: First in war, first in peace and last in the American League.

Senator fans had reason to hope, though, when Coan took the field on that April afternoon. The team had finished in second place in a wartime-depleted league in 1945. This new kid was considered a can’t-miss prospect. Many thought he would play a big part in that brighter future.

“Gil Coan was the most promising rookie ever to arrive on the Washington baseball scene,” declared Joe Engel, the Senators’ chief scout who had discovered Goslin, Rice and Bucky Harris. Coan, he said, was the best of them all.[I]

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