Jim Mallon

From BR Bullpen

James Lenard Mallon, Jr.

BR register page

Biographical Information[edit]

Jim Mallon played as high as AA then was a long-time college coach.

Mallon signed with the San Francisco Giants out of Baylor. In 1966, he hit .310/.385/.401 with 55 walks to 50 K in his pro debut for the Decatur Commodores. He cracked 30 doubles but no home runs. He was second in the Midwest League in average, .043 behind former major leaguer Deacon Jones. He was also second in doubles (6 behind Jones) and 4th in triples (6). In 1967, he moved from the outfield to first base and again topped .300, this time with the Fresno Giants. He produced at a .304/.388/.382 clip with 8 triples, 69 walks, 75 runs and 17 steals in 20 tries. He again was second in his league in average, .004 behind California League pacesetter Phil Mastagni. He did lead in hits (159) as well as leading first basemen in putouts (1,113), assists (78) and double plays (99). He was named the Cal League All-Star first baseman.

Jim kept up the contact in his AA debut with the 1968 Amarillo Giants, playing both first and the outfield. He hit .313/.360/.379. Had he qualified (he was 20 plate appearances shy of the 434 needed), he would have been third in the Texas League in average behind teammate Bob Taylor and Michael Budd. In '69, he returned to Amarillo and batted .310/.371/.420 with 7 triples and 65 RBI. He was third in the TL in average, behind Larry Johnson and Bobby Treviño. He had never finished lower than third in his league in average in his first four seasons as a pro. Johnson beat him out for All-Star honors at 1B.

Mallon had his only season under .300 with the 1970 Amarillo club, at .294/.341/.340. He was 21 plate appearances shy of qualifying; he would have been 10th in the TL in average. He ended his pro career with a batting line of .306/.371/.386 in 608 games, with 277 runs and 266 RBI. He fielded .990 at 1B and .973 in the outfield. Had teams been as enamored solely of batting average as the sabermetric mythmakers say, he would surely have had a chance at the majors; his lack of home run pop clearly kept him back, though.

He was head coach of Southwestern University from 1971-2004, going 1,197-601 and retiring 3rd in NAIA history in wins. He was named Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference four times and took his teams to the 1983 NAIA College World Series and 1984 NAIA College World Series. He coached for Team USA when they won Silver in the 1983 Intercontinental Cup and Bronze in the 1983 Pan American Games.

Sources: Big Country Hall of Fame, Obituary