Lou Gehrig, the Babe and a Girl Named Jackie

13 Jun

Did you know that a girl from Chattanooga, Tennessee struck out Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth? In 1931, Jackie Mitchel, a seventeen year old hurler, signed a minor league contract with the Chattanooga Lookouts. A few days later, the New York Yankees arrived in town to play an exhibition game.

After seeing the starting pitcher struggle, the manager put Mitchell into the game, and she struck out the first batter she faced on four pitches. That batter was Babe Ruth. She struck out the next hitter, Lou Gehrig, on three pitches. Although the Yankees won the game, the story of the female pitcher who struck out the two legends dominated the headlines.

When Kennesaw Mountain Landis, commissioner of baseball, heard the news, he immediately voided Mitchell’s contract. His excuse was that baseball was too strenuous for women to participate.

11 Responses to “Lou Gehrig, the Babe and a Girl Named Jackie”

  1. Sarah June 13, 2012 at 20:40 #

    Because… you know… childbirth is a walk in the park…

    • surroundedbyimbeciles June 13, 2012 at 21:05 #

      That’s what I figured. There are a lot of forgotten female athletes who have faded from history because of things like this.

  2. iamfromparisbutnotthatone June 13, 2012 at 22:31 #

    Well isn’t that a shame! Typical…

    • surroundedbyimbeciles June 14, 2012 at 04:11 #

      Yes it is. I found your blog the other day. It’s a good one. I hope the job is going well.

  3. John June 14, 2012 at 00:14 #

    I’ve never heard this story, but it doesn’t surprise me at all about Landis.

    • surroundedbyimbeciles June 14, 2012 at 04:09 #

      That seemed to be his mode of operation.

  4. lightningpen June 14, 2012 at 02:58 #

    Hi, this is one of those stories that should be better known, because of the awe inspiring significance of it! If this doesn’t get made into a movie I’d be shocked! And this only furthers my fantasy of striking out the Babe, and I shouldn’t be encouraged! Thank you for the follow! Keep writing!

    • surroundedbyimbeciles June 14, 2012 at 04:10 #

      Thank you for your comments. There are a lot of interesting tidbits out there waiting to be discovered.

  5. thehistorytourist June 16, 2012 at 00:36 #

    Well what can you expect from a guy named Kennesaw Mountain Landis. (Kennesaw Mountain?…really?…)

    • surroundedbyimbeciles June 16, 2012 at 01:34 #

      That was his name. Weird, huh. He was the first commissioner of baseball and held a hard line. He also banned Shoeless Joe Jackson.


  1. Listeria – Significant Others | Surrounded By Imbeciles - December 7, 2014

    […] Babe Ruth and his teammates used to barnstorm during the offseason, and one of those tours took him to Chattanooga. That is when he was struck out by a female pitcher. […]

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