The Houston Astros announced that Mitch Meluskey, Astros standout in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, will have his number retired in front of their home opening day crowd against the Kansas City Royals.
Mitch Meluskey, who was sometimes nicknamed “Bleach”, was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 12th round of the 1992 Draft. He was traded to the Astros early in the 1995 season and was a top prospect from then until his MLB debut in 1998. He played off and on between Houston and their minor league clubs until 2000, where he was supposed to start the season in the minors, but was so good in spring training, that he was put on the MLB roster and sent Paul Bako to the Marlins. He then was traded to Detroit in the same trade that sent Brad Ausmus back to the Astros. He later came back to Houston to pinch hit during the September call-ups to make a run for the Postseason, but the Astros missed it by one game.
Astros owner Jim Crane was quoted as saying “Lynch (sic) Meluskey was a great ambassador and catcher for the Houston Astros for several years. We are proud to have his number (21) retired by the names like Scott, Bagwell, and Biggio”.
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Climbing Tal’s Hill contacted Meluskey on the phone about the honor at hi home in Yakima, Washington, where he is currently a high school baseball coach. He said he “balled like a little girl” when Astros president Reid Ryan called him to inform him that he would have his number retired. “It’s just so emotional that they chose me for this honor. It means a lot that my team remembers me.”
Other Astros greats made a comment on Meluskey’s induction. Lance Berkman said he was “very happy” that Meluskey was to have his number retired. Other ex-Astros, however, wasn’t so happy. Craig Biggio said, “Seriously? Is that punk going to be at the same level as me by getting his number retired? It is a disgrace”! We contacted Matt Mieske at his Michigan home, and he had to say this: “That punk hit me in the mouth! It ain’t my fault he missed his turn in batting practice!” Mieske is referring to an incident where Meluskey got out of line in batting practice, and when he got back, words were exchanged, and Meluskey punched Mieske in the eye.
Though the retirement may be controversial by some, Climbing Tal’s Hill would like to congratulate Meluskey on the honor.
Baseball-almanac.com provided stats
Photo Courtesy: Getty Images/The Sporting News
No one provided quotes…………
Do you seriously think Mitch Meluskey was going to have his number retired? Ha! Maybe I fooled someone, but I doubt it. I hope everyone has a good April Fools day.