Born: Nov. 27, 1914
Place: New Burnside, Illinois
Died: Nov. 8, 2003
Place: Marion, Illinois
Kitty League Teams:
This page is
sponsored by Lendell Fullerton
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.
with my life,” he remarked in a 2002 interview. “I’ve
seen places that I’d never have seen if I hadn’t been
Nemec contributed biographical and statistical information
for this sketch.)