Merritt Thomas Ranew, an Albany native who became a Major League baseball player and successful local horse trainer and businessman, died Tuesday at Langdale Hospice House in Valdosta. He was 73. Kimbrell-Stern Funeral Directors is handling the arrangements.
Ranew was born on Tuesday, May 10, 1938. In 1957, at the age of 19 young Ranew was discovered by baseball scout and Albany legend Paul Eames. He was signed with the Milwaukee Braves as an amateur free agent. He was the 17th pick in the 1961 expansion draft in October 1961; he was only 23 years old when he broke into the big leagues on April 13, 1962, with the Houston Colt .45s.