Monday, May 19, 2014

#217 Kevin Mitchell

About the Front: I wish I knew what was happening here. Is Kevin Mitchell clowning around in batting practice? Has he just been brushed back by a pitch and is preparing to toss it back to the pitcher himself in an act of defiance? Or is this part of Seattle's "Shakespeare in the Kingdome" performance?

About the Back: The Mariners acquired Mitchell in exchange for three pitchers: Dave Burba, Mike Jackson, and Bill Swift. As you can see, the outfielder missed over 60 games with injuries and failed to even crack double digits in home runs. Seattle traded him to the Reds for reliever Norm Charlton after that lone disappointing season.

Triple Play:

1. He was the National League MVP in 1989, and continued his torrid hitting in the postseason. He batted .353/.429/.706 with a pair of homers and seven RBI in the NLCS, then batted .294 and slugged .471 in the World Series.

2. In addition to more run-of-the-mill injuries, Mitchell also infamously strained a muscle while vomiting and broke a tooth attempting to bite into a chocolate donut that he had microwaved for too long.

3. His last great season came in 1994, when he batted .326/.429/.681 with 30 home runs and 77 RBI in 95 games before the players' strike.

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: This photo reminds me of the way I used to play baseball in my back yard. I'd take a plastic bat and a tennis ball or something similar, toss the ball straight up in the air, and hit it. I'd imagine entire games between two major league teams, with full batting orders and least until the ball disappeared into the brush at the edge of our property.

Bill James Said: "He's the Danny Tartabull of the National League-a formidable righthanded power hitter who comes with enough baggage to require his own baggage handler."

On This Date in 1993: May 19. The Roots release Organix, their debut album.


  1. I wonder if he's doing some sort of nod to his famous barehanded catch.

  2. I think Jeff nailed it that the photo is an homage to his running barehander in a Giants uniform.

    And how can you mention Kevin Mitchell and not bring up Dwight Gooden's cat? Mitchell is kind of a terrifying human being.

  3. Jeff - It very well could be. If you make a catch like that, I think you deserve to bring it up at any opportunity.

    Max - The cat story has never been confirmed (Snopes lists it as "legend"), so as a cat owner I choose to believe it's not true. Of course, the stories of his gang activity and several violent altercations in the ensuing years with humans are more easily verified...

  4. If you read "The Bad Guys Won", the cat story is debunked. The story of him beating the living tar out of Strawberry, then going to get a bat to take care of the witnesses was confirmed.

  5. Sorry boys, I take Doc Gooden at his word. He took cocaine, not mushrooms.

  6. Really weird shot. What's the cat story?

    Anyway, cool site, I added you to my cardblog: