Mel Almada

Mel Almada

Birth
Huatabampo, Huatabampo Municipality, Sonora, Mexico
Death 13 Aug 1988 (aged 75)
Caborca, Caborca Municipality, Sonora, Mexico
Burial Navojoa, Navojoa Municipality, Sonora, Mexico
Memorial ID 86602605 · View Source
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Mel's birth name was Baldomero Melo (Quiros) Almada. Mel was raised and educated in California and attended Los Angeles High School.

The 1930 US Census showed the family migrated to the United States in 1914 (actual date 11/12/1914) and lived in Los Angeles, California. The following family members are shown as living in the home:
Baldomero A. (Alejo) Almada Head M 53 Mexico
Amelia Almada Wife F 51 Mexico
Amelia Almada Daughter F 29 Mexico
Concha Almada Daughter F 26 Mexico
Louis Almada Son M 22 Mexico
Carmen Almada Daughter F 21 Mexico
Aurora Almada Daughter F 19 Mexico
Melo Almada Son M 17 Mexico
Nellie Almada Daughter F 15 Arizona

Mel became a naturalized US citizen in 1941. He was married to Alicia Ferminel, the daughter of Francisco Ferminel.

The 1940 US Census shows Mel and his wife are living in Los Angeles with his parents and siblings as follows:
Melo Almada Head M 26 Mexico
Alicia Almada Wife F 20 California
Baldomer Almada Father M 62 Mexico
Amelia Almada Mother F 61 Mexico
Amelia Almada Sister F 39 Mexico
Carmen Almada Sister F 30 Mexico
Nellie Almada Sister F 25 Arizona

Mel reportedly was the first Mexican baseball player to play in the Major Leagues. A center fielder, he played from 1933 through 1939 split between the Boston Red Sox (1933–37), Washington Senators (1937–38), St. Louis Browns (1938–39) and Brooklyn Dodgers (1939). He batted and threw left-handed.

Basically a line-drive hitter with an outstanding speed, he was a respected lead-off hitter. Mel had a great ability to see a significant number of pitches and being able to successfully execute a bunt at anytime in the game.

Mel was signed by the Boston Red Sox out of the Pacific Coast League. He made his Major League debut with the Red Sox on September 8, 1933, batting .344 in 14 games that season. He became an everyday player in 1935, appearing in 151 games and finishing with a .290 average and 20 stolen bases. In the 1937 mid-season, Mel was traded by Boston along with the brothers Rick and Wes Ferrell to the Washington Senators in exchange for Ben Chapman and Bobo Newsom. At the time of the deal, Mel was hitting just .236, but he hit .309 the rest of the way, ending with a .296 average, 91 runs and 27 doubles. On July 25, during the first game of a doubleheader against the St. Louis Browns, Mel scored five runs to tie a Major League record. When he added four runs in the second game, he set an 18-inning Major League record with nine runs scored in a double-header.

After a poor .244 start in 1938, Mel was sent by Washington to the St. Louis Browns in exchange for All-Star outfielder Sam West. Mel hit .342 with St. Louis, ending with .311, 101 runs, 197 hits and 29 doubles, all career-high numbers. That season, he also had a phenomenal stretch in which he had a base hit in 54-out-of-56 games from June 21 through Aug 19 (second game), meaning he fell just two hitless games short of Joe DiMaggio's record 56-game hitting streak. But he slumped to .239 in 1939 and was sold to the Brooklyn Dodgers. With Brooklyn, he was used as a backup outfielder and pinch-hitting specialist. He made his last Major League appearance on October 1, 1939.

In a seven-season career, Mel posted a .284 batting average with 15 home runs and 197 RBI in 646 games.

Mel returned to the Pacific Coast League for one season with the Sacramento Solons in 1940. In 1941 he played for the Torreon Cotton Dealers in the Mexican League, playing just 26 games as the club's player-manager (hitting .343).

In May 1944 at age 31, Mel was called for military service with the Army. He took basic training at the Army Service Forces Training Center at Camp Barkeley, Texas, and was then stationed with the Army Medical Corps at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, for the remainder of the war. During 1945, Almada played for the Fort Sam Houston Rangers ball team in the San Antonio Service League. He batted .303 and also pitched and won five games for the Rangers.

Mel managed Navajoa in the Pacific Coast League of Mexico during the 1950s. In 1971, he was inducted to the Salón de la Fama del Beisbol Profesional de México (Mexican Baseball Hall of Fame).

Mel passed away with complications of heart disease in his home town of Sonora, Mexico, at age 75.


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  • Created by: Rick Lawrence
  • Added: 11 Mar 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 86602605
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Mel Almada (7 Feb 1913–13 Aug 1988), Find A Grave Memorial no. 86602605, citing Panteon Municipal de Navojoa, Navojoa, Navojoa Municipality, Sonora, Mexico ; Maintained by Rick Lawrence (contributor 47207615) .