Minnesota Skipper Sam Mele Remembers White Sox Roadblock En Route to 1965 World Series

Posted May 2nd, 2011 by Tom Owens and filed in 1965 Minnesota Twins, Allie Reynolds, Bill Nowlin, Sam Mele, Tony Cuccinello
Tattoo, or did Mele catch
a fastball on the bicep?

Sam Mele was Minnesota’s first Tom Kelly. Manager Mele turned the Twins into near World Champions in 1965.

I asked him when his thoughts changed from “good team” to “World Series bound.” He replied:

“Had a series with the White Sox and beat them. That gave us the lead.”

Mele’s baseball bloodline can be traced to Uncle Tony Cuccinello. I asked what special education he received as a nephew.

“All the fundamentals of baseball.”

Mele’s fame as Minnesota skipper followed a tidy 10-year career as a hard-working outfielder. His headline-grabbing moment as a hitter came in 1953, compiling a 22-game hitting streak.

I asked if there was one toughest game in which his streak was in doubt.

“Facing Yankee pitcher Allie Reynolds.”

A full look at Mele’s life in baseball is provided by writer Bill Nowlin’s wonderful biography, found on the SABR website.

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