19 Jan

totally random, vol. 7

Today’s subject: Willie Mitchell. Mitchell, who was born in Pleasant Grove and grew up in Sardis, was a four-time All-Star as a left-handed pitcher with Cleveland and Detroit from 1909-1919. He won 84 games in his 11 big league seasons and posted a 2.88 ERA. In college at Mississippi State, he threw a perfect game. He’s in the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame, elected in 1966. But the most fascinating note about Mitchell’s career is what he did on July 11, 1914. Facing the Boston Red Sox, Mitchell struck out a young pitcher named Babe Ruth in his first major league at-bat. The Sultan of What?
P.S. Two more Mississippi-flavored fun facts about Ruth: Most fans know — or should know — that Ruth hit his 714th and last home run off Aberdeen native Guy Bush. But Ruth also belted his 500th career homer off Willis Hudlin, who would later manage the original Jackson Senators minor league club.

Mike Christensen

Mike Christensen

A long-time sports fan and 30-year newspaper veteran muses on all things baseball in Mississippi. Contact: mwchristens@gmail.com
Mike Christensen

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