May 30, 2015

Former Italian / American Grandfather & Grandson Players: Lenny & Matt Merullo

Leonard Richard Merullo was born on May 5th 1917 in Boston, Massachusetts. The five foot eleven right hand hitter attended both Villanova University & Boston College. Merullo was a star player in the Cape Cod League & was eventually elected to heir Hall of Fame.

 He got to the big leagues in 1941 becoming the Chicago Cubs regular shortstop from 1942-1945 & again in 1947. He saw a lot of action at short, leading the league in errors in 1947 (29) coming in second in the league in that category in both 1942 & 1943. He would be among the top four in his league in assists, put outs & double plays in his years as a regular as well.

He got to play in three games of the 1945 World Series loss to the Detroit Tigers. After the death of Andy Pafko in 2013, Merullo is now the last living Cubs player to have played in a World Series game. 

Merullo (right) with Red Sox legend Johnny Pesky 2010
Retirement: In a seven year playing career he hit .240 with 497 hits six HRs, 92 doubles & 152 RBIs. After his playing days, he became a longtime top scout for the Cubs.

As mentioned above, Merullo did make many errors, on the day his son was born it is said that he made so many errors he chose to name his son; Boots. Boots would play minor league ball in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization. Lennie Merullo's grandson is Mike Merullo.

Passing: Lennie Merullo passed away on May 30th 2015 at the age of 98.

Matthew Bates Merullo was born on August 4th 1965 in Winchester, Massachusetts. The six foot two, left handed hitter attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He was a 7th round draft pick of the Chicago White Sox in 1986.
Merullo would spend parts of four seasons with the White Sox (1989/ 1991-1993) mostly as a back up catcher, as well as a designated hitter. He also spent a year with the Cleveland Indians (1994) & Minnesota Twins (1995). In his six year career he hit .234 with 116 hits 7 HRs 17 doubles & 59 RBIs.

Retirement: After his playing days, Merullo was a scout for the Arizona Diamondbacks & a minor league manager at A ball Aberdeen in 2013. He also started & runs the Pro Advantage Baseball school in Connecticut.

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