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Merritt Ranew

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Merritt Thomas Ranew

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Biographical Information[edit]

Catcher Merritt Ranew played parts of five seasons in the majors with five different clubs.

After being discovered by scout Paul Eames, Ranew was signed by the Milwaukee Braves in 1957. He spent five summers playing in their organization before being selected by the Houston Colt .45s in the expansion draft following the 1961 season. He made his big league debut with Houston early in the 1962 campaign. Spending the majority of that year in the majors, he hit .234 with 4 home runs in 71 games with the club while backing up Hal Smith behind the plate.

Prior to the 1963 season, Ranew was traded to the Chicago Cubs, and he hit .338 in 78 games for the Cubs as Dick Bertell's primary backup. After starting 1964 with Chicago, he was dealt back to the Braves in exchange for Len Gabrielson in early June. Following the deal, he went 2-for-17 in 9 games for Milwaukee and hit .262 in 21 games for the Toronto Maple Leafs of the International League.

Ranew was in the California Angels organization in 1965, splitting the year between the big league club and the Seattle Angels of the Pacific Coast League. Playing for Seattle the next summer, he was severely injured in a brawl during a game against the Vancouver Mounties in Vancouver. While going to the aid of pitcher Jim Coates, he was hit in the head with a bat by Vancouver's Santiago Rosario. Following the attack, he had internal bleeding in his brain, had to have surgery, and remained hospitalized for several weeks. He ultimately sued Rosario and the Mounties and won.

After playing for Seattle again in 1967, Ranew moved on to the New York Yankees organization in 1968, hitting .204 in 43 games for the Syracuse Chiefs. He returned to Seattle in 1969, joining the expansion Seattle Pilots and hitting .247 in 54 games. He played two more years in the minors after that season.

Following his baseball days, Ranew was a successful horse trainer and was co-owner of a night club. He died in 2011 at age 73.

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