Mel Ott The minor leagues in baseball were created to provide an opportunity for young talent to develop before being called up to the majors. But Gretna, Louisiana native Mel Ott skipped this step. New York Giants manager John McGraw was so worried that minor league managers would tamper with Ottís perfect swing that he called the young slugger up to the majors straight out of high school at the tender age of 16. For a few seasons, Ott rode the bench and filled in as needed, but once he got his shot, he took the league by storm. He played for 22 seasons, in which he compiled a career batting average of .304, 511 home runs, and 1,860 RBI. He batted over .300 ten times, played in three World Series, and was the National League home run leader six times. Following his playing days, he managed the Giants for seven seasons before being elected to baseballís Hall of Fame in 1951. Mel Ottís life was tragically cut short in a car accident on November 21, 1958. He is one of only eight Giants in history to have had his number (#4) retired.