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Kevin Mitchell (baseball)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Kevin Mitchell
Mitchell in 2016
Left fielder
Born: (1962-01-13) January 13, 1962 (age 62)
San Diego, California, U.S.
Batted: Right
Threw: Right
Professional debut
MLB: September 4, 1984, for the New York Mets
NPB: April 1, 1995, for the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks
Last appearance
NPB: August 8, 1995, for the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks
MLB: August 3, 1998, for the Oakland Athletics
MLB statistics
Batting average.284
Home runs234
Runs batted in760
NPB statistics
Batting average.300
Home runs8
Runs batted in28
Career highlights and awards

Kevin Darnell Mitchell (born January 13, 1962) is an American professional baseball left fielder who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) and Nippon Professional Baseball from 1984 to 1998. Mitchell was a two-time MLB All-Star and won the National League Most Valuable Player Award and Silver Slugger Award in 1989, when he led the league in home runs and runs batted in.

YouTube Encyclopedic

  • 1/5
    429 407
    14 910
    21 585
    1 599
    3 341
  • SF@STL: Kevin Mitchell makes unbelievable catch
  • 1989: The Year of Kevin Mitchell
  • 1989 NLCS Gm1: Mitchell delivers three-run blast
  • Nolan Ryan (Rangers) has an epic battle with Kevin Mitchell (Giants)(1989 All-Star Game)
  • Kevin Mitchell Barehanded Catch


Early life

Mitchell was born in San Diego to Alma Mitchell, who worked as an electrician with the US Navy. Alma separated from Mitchell's father, Earl, when Mitchell was two years old.[1] He was raised primarily with his paternal grandmother, Josie Whitfield, who encouraged his participation in sports.[2] Because Mitchell struggled academically, he attended several high schools in San Diego including Lincoln High School, Clairemont High School and Crawford High School, where he claimed to have played water polo. Although he has been credited with graduating from Clairemont and has claimed to have been a high school football star there, Mitchell only attended the school for two months in 1978. He was reportedly involved in street gangs as a youth, but has claimed he was never himself a member;[1] he also claimed to have been shot three times in his youth.[2][3] His stepbrother, Donald, was killed in a gang fight.[4]

Mitchell reportedly did not play high school baseball. He was signed by the New York Mets as an undrafted free agent following an open tryout at Grossmont College. He was given a $1,500 signing bonus plus $600 monthly in salary.[5]

Playing career

New York Mets

In Amazin', Peter Golenbock's oral history of the New York Mets, Hall of Fame catcher Gary Carter said he gave Mitchell the nickname "World" for his ability to play in the infield and outfield. Carter spoke fondly of Mitchell's talents.[6]

In the tenth inning of Game 6 of the 1986 World Series, after Wally Backman and Keith Hernandez had been retired for the first two outs, he was called to pinch hit for reliever Rick Aguilera after Gary Carter, the next hitter after Hernandez, singled. Mitchell, who had already gotten out of his uniform and had on his regular clothes, hurriedly put his uniform back on without his protective cup and went to the plate and singled.[7] He would eventually score the tying run on Bob Stanley's wild pitch to Mookie Wilson.

In a July 2007 radio interview with San Francisco sports talk radio station KNBR, Mitchell disputed that he was out of uniform at the time, and stated that he never wore a cup, even when playing infield. When asked why he never wore a cup, Mitchell responded, "I couldn’t find one big enough for my junk." The interviewer then commented that maybe the increased mobility helped Mitchell to make the famous 1989 barehanded catch of Ozzie Smith's fly ball.[7]

On December 11, 1986, the Mets traded Mitchell, Shawn Abner, Stan Jefferson, Kevin Armstrong, and Kevin Brown to the San Diego Padres for Kevin McReynolds, Gene Walter, and Adam Ging.[8] Mitchell played for the Padres for half a season.[9]

San Francisco Giants

On July 4, 1987, Mitchell was traded to the Giants as part of a multi-player trade that also sent pitchers Dave Dravecky and Craig Lefferts to San Francisco in exchange for third baseman Chris Brown and pitchers Keith Comstock, Mark Davis, and Mark Grant. While Dravecky was initially considered to be the key to the trade for the Giants, it was Mitchell who emerged as a star player.

Most Valuable Player

After two seasons playing primarily at third base, he had his best season with the Giants in 1989 upon being moved to the outfield. In that season, he batted .291 with a league-best 125 RBI and 47 home runs, leading the team to the playoffs and winning the National League's Most Valuable Player award, the first by a Giant since Willie McCovey in 1969. He added a .353 average and 2 homers in the NLCS to help the team to its first World Series appearance since 1962.

The barehanded catch

Mitchell set the tone for his charmed 1989 season early in the year with a unique defensive play on April 26. Sprinting toward the left field foul line in St. Louis's Busch Stadium, for a ball off the bat of Ozzie Smith, Mitchell realized he had overrun the ball, but was able to reach back and snare the ball with his bare hand.[10][11]

Later years

Mitchell was a two-time All-Star with the Giants. Traded to the Mariners after the 1991 season, he arrived at spring training the following year 30 pounds (14 kg) overweight and hit only nine homers that year while batting .286. After starting the 1992 season in a horrible slump in April and May, Mitchell rebounded and batted .337 the rest of the way and hit seven of his nine home runs and knocked in 47 of his 67 RBI in just the last 54 games of the 1992 season. He had a resurgence in two seasons with the Reds, batting .341 with 19 home runs and 64 RBI in just 323 at-bats in 1993 and .323 with 30 home runs and 77 RBI in the strike-shortened 1994 season. However, his weight problems kept him from being more productive. Because of the baseball strike, he opted to play for the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks in Japan the following year,[12] where he became the highest-paid player in Japanese history.[13] In Japan, he incurred the displeasure of team management when he chose to travel to the U.S. in mid-season for treatment of knee problems against the team's wishes. He spent only two months with the team.[14] It was discovered later that he did indeed need surgery on his knee.

In the next two years, he played for four major league teams (Cincinnati, Boston, Cleveland, Oakland), showing flashes of his former ability.[9]

In May 1997 while with the Cleveland Indians, after teammate Chad Curtis objected to lyrics of a rap song Mitchell was playing in the clubhouse, and shut off the clubhouse stereo, Curtis exchanged punches with Mitchell, who threw Curtis over a ping pong table.[15][16] Curtis sustained a bruised right thumb in the fight, and was placed on the 15-day disabled list.[17]

Since his retirement, Mitchell lives in San Diego,[9] and plays in the San Diego Adult Baseball League for the championship team, the San Diego Black Sox.

Arrests and suspension

Mitchell was the subject of a rape investigation in Chula Vista, California, in December 1991. No charges were filed.[9][18]

After being released from Major League Baseball for the last time, he was arrested in 1999 for assaulting his father during an argument.[19] In the independent leagues as manager of the Sonoma County Crushers in 2000, he was suspended for nine games after punching the opposing team's owner in the mouth during a brawl.[20]

In 2010, Mitchell was arrested for alleged misdemeanor battery at the Bonita Golf Club in Bonita, California.[20] He was ordered to perform community service and attend anger management classes.[9]

Career in review

In his 13-season career with eight teams, Mitchell batted .284, with 234 home runs, 760 runs batted in, 630 runs scored, 1,173 hits, 224 doubles, 25 triples and 491 bases on balls in 1,223 games.

Mitchell's cousin, Keith Mitchell, also played in the major leagues for four teams across four seasons (between 1991 and 1998), ending his career with a .260 batting average and eight home runs.[21]

See also


  1. ^ a b Sherwin, Bob (February 16, 1992). "Kevin Mitchell – At Home In The Hood – New Mariner Escaped Ghetto, Not Questions About Him And His Friends". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2011-08-03.
  2. ^ a b Porter, David L. (1995). Biographical Dictionary of American Sports: 1992-1995 supplement for baseball, football, basketball, and other sports. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 146. ISBN 978-0-313-28431-1. Retrieved 31 December 2022.
  3. ^ Moran, Malcolm (15 May 1989). "Caring Eyes Watch Over Mitchell". The New York Times. Retrieved 31 December 2022.
  4. ^ Appleman, Marc (27 August 1986). "WHAT A TANGLED TALE: : Story of Mets' Mitchell Confusing, Controversial". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 30 December 2017.
  5. ^ Curtis, Jake (June 19, 1989). "From A Raw Prospect To A Rare Pro". San Francisco Chronicle. Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 30 December 2017.
  6. ^ Golenbock, Peter. Amazin': The Miraculous History of New York's Most Beloved Baseball Team (Macmillan, 2003)
  7. ^ a b [1] Archived January 26, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Durso, Joseph (December 12, 1986). "METS TRADE FIVE FOR McREYNOLDS IN EIGHT-MAN DEAL". The New York Times. Retrieved November 17, 2023.
  9. ^ a b c d e Ken Belson, "Thirty Years After Mets’ Title, Kevin Mitchell's Story Still Involves Baseball," New York Times, May 7, 2016.
  10. ^ Jayson Stark, "Kevin Mitchell Had A Hand In A Remarkable Catch," Philadelphia Inquirer, May 2, 1989.
  11. ^ Mike Cardillo, "MLB is Finally Uploading Content to YouTube, Here's Kevin Mitchell Making a Barehanded Catch," The Big Lead, May 1, 2013.
  12. ^ "Former MVP Kevin Mitchell Latest to Grab Ball, Bat and Head to Japan," Los Angeles Times, February 23, 1995.
  13. ^ "Kevin Mitchell leaves Japan" Deseret News, May 26, 1995.
  14. ^ Costello, Rory. "Brian Traxler". SABR. Retrieved March 31, 2021.
  15. ^ Lee, Edward (February 9, 2005), "Sour notes in clubhouse. Baseball: The pre- and post-game tunes that soothe one player have been known to enrage another", The Baltimore Sun, retrieved May 29, 2017
  16. ^ Carrillo, David (October 7, 2001), Major-league teams boogie to their own music, News OK, retrieved May 29, 2017
  17. ^ Berger, Ken (May 22, 1997), Indians' Curtis injures thumb in scuffle with Mitchell, The Associated Press
  18. ^ Gaw, Jonathan (1991-12-02). "Kevin Mitchell Arrested on Rape Charges in Chula Vista". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2001-12-02.
  19. ^ Tony Perry (1999-09-01). "Kevin Mitchell Attacks His Father". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009-01-25.
  20. ^ a b "Former Padre Kevin Mitchell arrested in battery case |". 2010-07-26. Retrieved 2014-08-08.
  21. ^ "Keith Mitchell Stats, Fantasy & News". Retrieved 2022-08-11.

External links

This page was last edited on 26 June 2024, at 21:00
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