Merl Combs

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Merrill Russell Combs

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Biographical Information[edit]

Infielder Merl Combs began his pro career after three years at USC. He signed before the 1941 season with the Boston Red Sox who assigned him to the Class B Greensboro Red Sox. The shortstop appeared in 92 games, hitting .288 and fielding .942. He spent the next four years in the US military, returning in 1946 with the Class A Scranton Red Sox, hitting .218 in 72 games. Merl appeared with the Louisville Colonels, the Columbus Red Birds and the Toronto Maple Leafs before getting called up by the Red Sox in late 1947. He played 17 games, hitting .221 with no errors. He was with Casey Stengel's Pacific Coast League Oakland Oaks in 1948, appearing in 175 games, all at shortstop, and hit .271 with 10 home runs.

Combs was with Boston in 1949, appearing in only 14 games, and was traded to the Washington Senators with Tommy O'Brien for Clyde Vollmer on May 8, 1950. Unable to get anything going, he appeared in 37 games with the Senators in 1950 and was traded to the St. Louis Browns in an unknown transaction before the 1951 season. In turn, the Browns sent him to the Cleveland Indians, along with Snuffy Stirnweiss, for Fred Martin and $35,000. Merl was with Cleveland for both the 1951 and 1952 seasons, appearing in a combined 71 games, hitting .238. 1952 was Merl's last in the majors; in five years, he batted .202 and fielded .970. He spent his final seasons, 1953 and 1954, in the PCL with the Seattle Rainiers and the Sacramento Solons, playing regularly and hitting .255.

The former infielder was a Texas Rangers coach in 1974 and 1975. He was later a west coast scout for the Indians prior to his death on July 8, 1981, at 62, in Riverside, CA.

Baseball Players of the 1950s
SABR MILB Database:page

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