Mel Ivy
 

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MELVIN IVY

Born: Nov. 27, 1914
Place: New Burnside, Illinois
Died: Nov. 8, 2003
Place: Marion, Illinois

Batted: Right
Threw: Right

Positions:
Catcher
Third Base

Kitty League Teams:
Paducah Indians
Fulton Tigers
Hopkinsville Hoppers

 

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Baseball lost a member of its large fraternity with the passing of Melvin (Mel) Ivy in Marion, Illinois on November 8, 2003. A right handed-hitting catcher and infielder, he played professional ball for 14 years and managed four teams. Most of his career was spent in Paducah, Ky and the Southern Illinois region. He batted .281 with 55 home runs and 624 RBI in 1,043 games.

Born at New Burnside, Illinois on November 27, 1914, Mr. Ivy was signed by the St. Louis Cardinals organization at the age of 20. He began his professional career with the Beatrice (Neb.) Blues of the Class D Nebraska State League in 1935. In mid-season, he joined the Paducah Indians in the Class D Kitty League where he served as interim player-manager for a brief period.

After playing for the Peoria Reds in the Class B Three-I League in 1937, Mr. Ivy returned to Paducah where he spent parts of the 1938 and 1940 seasons. He was voted to the Kitty League All-Star team with the Fulton Tigers in 1941.

The next season was his first as a playing manager. He guided the Hopkinsville Hoppers for a short time before the Kitty League folded on June 18, 1942. He finished the season with the Sioux Falls Canaries in the Class C Northern League.

Mr. Ivy was the starting catcher for the Atlanta Crackers in the Southern Association during their pennant-winning seasons in 1944 and 1945. A year later, he joined the San Francisco Seals where he was part of yet another championship team that won the Pacific Coast League pennant.

In 1947, he came home and managed the Marion (Ill.) Indians in the Class D Illinois State League for two years. He was player-manager of the Vincennes (Ind.) Velvets before returning to more familiar territory with the Paducah Chiefs in 1950.  His professional career ended a year later as manager of the Mattoon (Ill.) Indians.

Im satisfied with my life, he remarked in a 2002 interview. Ive seen places that Id never have seen if I hadnt been playing ball.

(Raymond J. Nemec contributed biographical and statistical information for this sketch.)

 

 

Kitty League Batting Statistics

YEAR CLUB BA G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB
1935 Paducah .226 36 155 21 35 5 3 1 27 6
1936 Paducah .269 65 219 31 59 10 4 3 35 1
1938 Paducah .125 3 8 1 1 0 0 0 2 0
1940 Paducah .318 57 148 21 47 12 2 4 39 4
1941 Fulton .289 123 499 60 144 24 4 6 75 8
1942 Hopkinsville .250 37 148 21 37 7 0 6 34 3
Total 6 seasons .274 321 1,177 155 323 58 13 20 212 22

 

(c) 2006 Kevin D. McCann. All rights reserved.