Tag Archives: Kennesaw Mountain Landis

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.