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she stands 5'1", weighs 105lbs sopping wet and wants to pitch in the major leagues.


Award Winning USMB Paid Messageboard Poster
Aug 4, 2009
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Stranger things have happened...

Teenaged girl strikes out Ruth an Gehrig


Virne Beatrice "Jackie" Mitchell Gilbert (August 29, 1912, 1913 or 1914 – January 7, 1987) was one of the first female pitchers in professional baseball history. Pitching for the Chattanooga Lookouts Class AA minor league baseball team in an exhibition game against the New York Yankees, she struck out Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in succession.[1]

[edit] Early lifeIt is uncertain in what year Mitchell was born. Some sources suggest 1912,[2][3] others 1913, and still others 1914.[4][5] She weighed only a little over 3 pounds (1.4 kg) when born in Fall River, Massachusetts to Virne Wall Mitchell and Dr. Joseph Mitchell.[2][6] When she learned how to walk, her father took her to the baseball diamond and taught her the basics of the game. Her next door neighbor, Dazzy Vance, taught her to pitch and showed her his "drop ball", a type of breaking ball.[7] Later, Vance would pitch in the major leagues and eventually be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.[8]

When Mitchell was 17, she played for a women's team in Chattanooga, Tennessee and attended a special baseball school in Atlanta, Georgia. There, she attracted the attention of Joe Engel, the president and owner of the Chattanooga Lookouts, who offered her a contract to play for the 1931 season. On March 28, Mitchell signed the contract and became an official member of the Lookouts, a Class AA minor league team.[citation needed]

[edit] Against the New York YankeesThe New York Yankees and the Chattanooga Lookouts were scheduled to play an exhibition game in Chattanooga, Tennessee on April 1, 1931. Due to rain the game was postponed until the next day. Seventeen-year-old Jackie Mitchell, brought in to pitch in the first inning after the starting pitcher had given up a double and a single, faced Babe Ruth. After taking a ball, Ruth swung and missed at the next two pitches. Mitchell's fourth pitch to Ruth was a called third strike. The crowd roared for her. Babe Ruth was quoted in a Chattanooga newspaper as having said:

I don't know what's going to happen if they begin to let women in baseball. Of course, they will never make good. Why? Because they are too delicate. It would kill them to play ball every day.[5]

Next up was Lou Gehrig, who swung through the first three pitches to strike out.


Diamond Member
Aug 16, 2011
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I remember reading about Wake giving her some pointers. She picked a good role model.

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