Mantle World is proud to introduce it's first two members of the Mantle Hall of Fame: pitcher Harry Mateo, inducted as a member of the Tacoma (now Anaheim) franchise, and first baseman Quentin Keller, inducted as a member of the once and again current San Francisco franchise.
Here is a brief biography of each of the inaugural members of the Mantle Hall of Fame:
A veteran of 18 major league seasons, Mateo retired after season 15 with an impressive resume. Six All-Star appearances, 3 Cy Young awards, and three Silver Slugger awards as a pitcher. He retired with a lifetime W/L record of 192-114 and an ERA of 3.21 to go along with a 1.19 WHIP. To prove that those three Silver Slugger awards were no fluke, he also hit .209 with 5 home runs and 64 RBI's in his career.
Initially a member of the AL's New York Pork Loins, he was traded three times in season 1 of Mantle. First, he was traded in the pre-season to the Cincinnati Red Stockings in a two for one deal, and then a few weeks later traded back to the Pork Loins as part of a three-for-three deal. Finally, a few weeks after that he was once again traded, this time to the Tacoma Baymen as part of another three-for-three transaction. Once he arrived in Tacoma, he finally settled in for a long and productive career with the Baymen.
The highlights of his career in Tacoma were seasons 8, 9 and 10, in which he won back-to-back-to-back National League Cy Young awards and appeared in his one and only World Series (in season 8). Over those three seasons, he went 54-23 with a 2.22 ERA and a very impressive 1.06 WHIP. It was also during his time in Tacoma when he made his only three post-season appearances (seasons 7, 8 and 9), accumulating a record of 5-1 with a 2.02 ERA (and 1.14 WHIP) in 8 career post-season starts.
His career in Tacoma came to an end in the pre-season of season 11, when he was traded from Tacoma to the Salem Oles as part of a five man deal. He spent two seasons as an Ole, highlighted by the only 20 win season of his career when he posted a 21-7 record in season 11.
Free agency came calling for Harry after his two seasons in Salem as he signed a three year deal with the San Diego Seagulls. But his best days were behind him, as he could only produce a record of 19-23 in San Diego before being granted his release. His career ended with a lone appearance for the AAA Syracuse Sluggers before announcing his retirement.
Harry was inducted into the Mantle HOF with 25 votes.
A veteran of 15 major league seasons, Keller retired after his playing career ended after season 14. His resume includes 7 All-Star appearances, 2 MVP awards, one Gold Glove as a first baseman and a total of four Silver Slugger awards (2 as a left fielder and two as a first baseman. He retired with a lifetime batting average of .318 with 477 home runs and 1,414 RBI's. He also finished with a lifetime .446 OBP, .592 SLG, and 1.038 OPS, as well as holding the career record for walks with 1,497 free passes earned.
Initially a member of the NL's Chicago Bleacher Bums, he was traded in the middle of season 2 from Chicago to the San Antonio Soggy Bottom Boys in a 3 for 1 deal. Quentin shined in his three seasons as a Soggy Bottom Boy, winning back-to-back AL MVP awards in seasons 3 and 4. His two MVP seasons saw him put up stats of .337 AVG, with 119 home runs and 284 RBI's.
However, fate came calling in season 5 when he was traded from San Antonio to the San Francisco Oles in a late season deal. Appearing in only 20 regular season games for the Oles, he bashed 8 home runs and knocked in 16 down the stretch to lead them into the post-season. It was in that same season in which he made his only World Series appearance, and Keller played a key role in the Oles season 5 World Champiosnhip.
Keller played for the Oles both in San Francisco and also for three seasons after they moved to Salem before becoming a free agent and signing with the Washington D.C. Bullets. But his time in Washington and Rochester (after the franchise moved) saw him in a rapid decline, and he was released in season 14. Unable to find any takers for an aging superstar who was well past his prime, he retired in season 15.
In his career, Keller appeared in the playoffs in six different seasons, playing a total of 36 post-season games. He compiled a career post-season record of .283 AVG with 6 home runs and 32 RBI's, along with a .948 OPS.
Quentin was inducted into the Mantle HOF with 22 votes.