Own memorabilia from Gretna’s greatest all-star

GRETNA, La. -- It is All-Star week for Major League Baseball. And, one of the greatest all-stars in the history of baseball was born in Gretna.

Hall-of-Famer Mel Ott hit more than 500 home runs and was a 12-time all-star. He started his career early, signing with the New York Giants at just 16 years old.

Some of his memorabilia is up for auction this week at Hunt Auctions.

"We had a vast amount of memorabilia," says Ott's granddaughter Dr. Diane Loria Rose. "We decided that it might be nice to share it with some of the fans."

The memorabilia includes his 400th home run baseball and an autographed home run baseball from the 1933 World Series. They are both estimated to go forĀ $25,000-$50,000 each.

Ott was not the biggest baseball player of his era. But, he was one of the most powerful.

"He wasn't a very tall man," says Dr. Rose. "He was 5'7" or 5'8". Had big, big thighs though--kind of tree trunk thighs. And, I guess that's how he got his power."

Ott also had a unique batting style that added some oomph to his swing.

"[New York Giants manager John McGraw] didn't want him to play in the minor leagues because he was afraid they would actually mess up his stance," says Dr. Rose.

The auction for Mel Ott's memorabilia is timed to match up with this year's All-Star game. So, it goes until tomorrow (July 17).

You can bid online at the Hunt Auctions website.