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Monday, June 10, 2013

Matt Merullo, Inner Drive - 1112

Read the July 2013 Matt Merullo interview: Matt Merullo, What Fun 

Looking to start 1993 with the big club in Chicago, Matt Merullo instead found himself starting the season at AAA Nashville, The Chicago Tribune wrote.

Instead of getting down, Merullo saw the move as an opportunity to prove he was complete player, The Tribune wrote.

"This gives me a chance to show I can catch or I can't," Merullo told The Tribune. "If I stayed in the big leagues, I would have been labeled a left-hander coming off the bench."

Merullo ultimately did see time in his fourth major league season that year, though it was brief, and in two more seasons after that. By the time he was done, Merullo saw time in six different major league seasons, 233 big league games.

His playing career over, Merullo has gone on to a post-playing career as a scout and minor league manager, managing for 2013 at short-season Aberdeen.

Merullo's career began in 1986, taken by the White Sox in the seventh round of the draft, out of the University of North Carolina.

Merullo got into baseball after his father Boots Merullo played minor league ball and grandfather Lennie Merullo played major league ball and scouted, according to

"My mother said that the first word out of my mouth was 'ball,'" Merullo told MaxPreps. "It (baseball) was huge in a positive way. I was a batboy when I was five or six years old. We wore old uniforms that my grandfather got from the Cubs. I spent my winters pouring over scrapbooks of my father and grandfather. It was a big drive – but all an inner drive."

With the White Sox, Merullo started at single-A Peninsula, hitting .303 in 64 games. He moved to single-A Daytona Beach and then AA Birmingham in 1987. He returned to Birmingham for 1988, then started 1989 at AAA Vancouver.

It was in mid-April that an injury to Hall of Fame catcher Carlton Fisk led to Merullo getting his first call to Chicago, The Tribune wrote. Merullo rewarded the White Sox on that first call with a debut that saw him pick up two hits, one of them a home run. He also threw out a runner.

"It's fun to be out there and get two hits," Merullo told The Tribune. "That`s the understatement of the year."

Merullo got into 31 games for the White Sox that year, then returned to AA Birmingham for 1990. He then got back to the majors in 1991, getting into 80 games, hitting .229.

Merullo then got 24 games with the White Sox in 1992, and just eight in 1993. For 1994, he moved to the Indians, getting just four games in the bigs.

In 1995, though, Merullo returned to form, moving to the Twins and getting into 76 games on the year. That July, Merullo told his hometown Ridgefield Press that July he was looking to continue success he had the first half of the year.

"I'm just trying to go out and have some fun, and when you do, the hits start coming," Merullo told The Press.

For Merullo, it was his last season in the majors. By 2005, he was a scout for the Diamondbacks. In 2013, he took the manager's job at short-season Aberdeen in the Orioles system.

Read the July 2013 Matt Merullo interview: Matt Merullo, What Fun 
1990 CMC-Pro Cards Tally  
Players/Coaches Featured:1,166
Made the Majors: 674 - 57.8%
Never Made Majors: 492-42.2%
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 291
10+ Seasons in the Minors: 174

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