Thursday, January 13, 2005

January 13th, 1962

Kevin Mitchell Born

In honor of Kevin Mitchell's 43rd birthday, we bring you seven links (that's 4 + 3, you see) that touch on the highlights and lowlights of Kevin's Career and Life

(1) Mitchell makes his debut as a pinch-hitter in the Mets 12-2 loss to the Cardinals on September 4th, 1984
(2) After being put in RF for an ejected Darryl Strawberry, Mitchell is himself ejected (along with Ray Knight, Eric Davis and Mario Soto) from this game for a brawl, forcing Met manager Davey Johnson to Jesse Orosco and Roger McDowell (both pitchers by trade) at once, with Orosco pitching to the lefites while McDowell played LF and McDowell pitching to the righties while Orosco played RF. Incredibly, the plan works as the Mets score 3 runs in the top of the 14th (including Orosco who draws a walk off Carl Willis) and win the game 6-3.
(3) Despite reportedly being in the clubhouse making plane reservations to fly back to his native San Diego when called upon, Mitchell singles off Calvin Schiraldi in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series and would come around to score the game's tying run off a Bob Stanley wild pitch.
(4) According to "Doc" Gooden at some point in his Mets' tenure, Mitchell takes a kitchen knife and cuts the head off his girlfriends' cat. Mitchell claims the story is false, but it remains, at best, murky.
(5) The final game of Mitchell's finest season, 1989, when he hit .291/.388/.635 with 47 home runs, despite playing in cavernous, windy, Candlestick Park. Mitchell won the MVP netting 20 of 24 first place votes, and propelled the Giants' to the World Series. Mitchell's own scorching NLCS (.353/.429/.706) was overlooked, however, by the play of teammate Will Clark and his counterpart at first base the Cubs' Mark Grace both of whom hit over .600.
(6) The incomprehensible to non-Japanese speaking website of the Fukuoka Daniei Hawks, the team Mitchell played for briefly in 1995. Just as many American visiting that site find it baffling, so Mitchell found Japanese baseball. Although he intially got off well (as another slugger travelling the other way, Hideki Matsui, would do many years later, Mitchell hit a grand slam his first at-bat) Mitchell had a bitter disagreement with the team over the nature of a knee injury and went AWOL to the United States for "treatment" on his knee. Despite being the league's highest paid player at 4.5 million (US), Mitchell played in just 37 games and by mutual agreement retuned to the United States for the 1996 season.
(7) Mitchell plays his last Major League game (he would bounce around independent and minor leagues), like Mitchell's first game, it is a blowout as his Oakland A's lose 14-1 to the Yankees.

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