MESA, Ariz. -- Bob Melvin didn’t manage Mark Ellis for very long, but the A’s skipper had glowing words for Oakland’s longtime second baseman, who announced his retirement Wednesday night.
Ellis played nine seasons with the A’s and ranks fifth all-time among second baseman with a .991 fielding percentage. Melvin had only been managing the A’s about three weeks in 2011 when he had the unenviable task of telling Ellis he’d been traded to the Colorado Rockies. That afternoon, Ellis sat at a podium at the Coliseum and addressed Oakland media in an emotion-filled press conference.
“I was here a short time with him, but boy, do you find out what he’s all about when you’re with him (even) a week,” Melvin said Thursday morning.
Ellis was a .268 hitter with 85 home runs and 418 RBI in eight full seasons with the A’s, but it was his sure-handed and consistent defense that made him perhaps the best defensive second baseman in Oakland history.
“All along, he’s a guy that this organization, (GM) Billy (Beane), even my time with him … if he’s looking for a job outside of playing, he’s welcome here,” Melvin said. “Baseball guys are baseball guys, and it probably won’t be too long before he gets the itch to come back. A terrific career too. You won’t find anybody to say a bad word about Mark Ellis.”