Jackie Mitchell: The Girl Who Loved Baseball (Paperback)

Jackie Mitchell: The Girl Who Loved Baseball By John M. Kovach, Karen Paul Stone (Designed by) Cover Image
By John M. Kovach, Karen Paul Stone (Designed by)
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On March 26, 1931, the baseball world was stunned as a 18-year female pitcher named Virne Beatrice "Jackie" Mitchell of Chattanooga, TN, signed a minor league contract with the hometown Lookouts. Several days later, Mitchell took to the mound for an April 2 preseason game against the New York Yankees, striking out both Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. With her exploits reported the next day in newspapers across the United States, Jackie Mitchell became a household name

Mitchell's story is detailed in a new book by women's baseball historian John Kovach. Jackie Mitchell: The Girl Who Loved Baseball. It is the most complete look at the life and career of Mitchell.

As a young girl, Jackie and her family lived in Memphis, Tennessee. The family lived in close proximity to then minor league Memphis Chicks pitcher (and future Baseball Hall of Famer) Arthur Charles "Dazzy" Vance. It was Vance who reportedly taught a young Jackie to throw a baseball.

While previous books about Mitchell center around her appearance against the Yankees, readers will learn a number of new things about Mitchell, both on and off the baseball field. Some of those things include:

- Jackie playing for her first organized team, the Engelettes in 1930

- Jackie pitching for or against teams from eight different minor leagues

- The only female pitcher to hold two major league teams scoreless

- A first-ever, year-by-year record of Jackie's pitching career

- Jackie's challenge to Babe Didrikson to pitch against her

According to popular culture, the possibility that she would be soon a starting member of the Lookouts pitching staff was dashed when Baseball Commissioner, Kennesaw Mountain Landis reportedly banned females from playing professional baseball after her appearance. There is no written evidence of Landis ban according to Kovach. Following the game in Chattanooga, many of the teams she would play for would state that her contrast was "on loan" to their club from the Lookouts.

As a female athlete in the 1930s, Mitchell played both baseball and basketball. Through her basketball playing, Mitchell encountered the legendary Mildred "Babe" Didrikson, playing on her "All American's Basketball Team" as well as the "Stars of The World", managed by Grover Cleveland Alexander.

Kovach creates a unique chapter from interviews with Jackie between 1931-33. Readers will again hear Jackie in her own words tell what it was like to face Ruth and Gehrig; her love of baseball as well as what it was like to play with the bearded House of David team.

The book also touches upon the post-athletic life of Mitchell until her death in 1987. Readers will learn about the deaths of her mother, father and younger sister as well as her brief marriage to Eugene A Gilbert.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781947589414
ISBN-10: 1947589415
Publisher: Waldenhouse Publishers, Inc.
Publication Date: August 23rd, 2021
Pages: 130
Language: English