Now Batting, Number 21….

1-8-09 MILTON BRADLEY PC0316.jpg

Milton Bradley! I think this is a solid acquisition for my cubbies. I know he
has had his problems in the league before but I think those can all be taken
care of. I think Lou will have a big impact impact on his career. He has been
moved around far too much and needs to get steady footing in a franchise. I
think that will help him focus and improve his game when all he has to think
about is his on field play.

It’s always a good thing when you pick up a all-star player it brings a new
since of confidence into the club house. We desperately needed his left handed
bat as well as his american league leading .436 on-base percentage. I think this
is a change for the best and hopefully it will be a result of more wins and
clutch  hitting in October.

MLB Network Isn’t For Chattanooga

I found out about the MLB Network about a week before the 1.1.09 launch date. When I read the news I was really excited about it and went to make sure it was available in my area. After doing research I learned my cable company (Comcast) owns part of the network as in they are a share holder in the network yet some how some way the channel isn’t available in my area. I know most people can’t point out Chattanooga on a map but we have a history of baseball and are the home of the Chattanooga Lookouts (AA)

Here are a few tidbits of Chattanooga Baseball History…

Engel Stadium

Engel Stadium is a baseball field located in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The stadium was built in 1930 and holds 12,000 people. It was the home of the Chattanooga Lookouts until 1999 when, at the end of the season, they moved to BellSouth Park. Engel Stadium was named for baseball scout and Chattanooga Lookouts owner, Joe Engel.

The stadium is located at 1130 E. 3rd Street, at the corner of O’Neil Avenue, adjacent to the historic Fort Wood neighborhood, Norfolk Southern’s DeButts Yard and Erlanger Hospital.

Many notables have played on the field, including Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Hank Aaron, Satchel Paige, Willie Mays, Harmon Killebrew, Ferguson Jenkins, Kiki Cuyler, Kid ElberfeldBurleigh Grimes. and

During its minor league days, the ballfield had probably the deepest
in-play center field areas among active ballparks, 471 feet from home
plate. Harmon Killebrew was the only known player to hit a home run
over the 471-foot marker.

Engel Stadium (with a fence reducing its dimensions) is now used for high school baseball games and, up until a few years ago, for the TSSAA baseball playoffs, which were moved to Murfreesboro, Tenn., to be more centrally located for all Tennessee high schools.

source:wikipedia

jackie_boys_a.jpgThe Story Of Jackie Mitchell
Her Childhood

Some sources say that Jackie Mitchell was born in 1912 or 1913.  Other sources say that she was born in 1914. Regardless of the year, she was a survivor from the start.

When Virne Beatrice “Jackie” Mitchell was born, she only weighed three-and-a-half pounds.  But as soon as she could walk, she went with her father to the baseball diamond.  From him, she learned the basics of game.

At that time, Jackie was living in Memphis, Tennessee.  Her next-door neighbor was a minor league ballplayer by the name of Dazzy Vance.

Dazzy (who would later play for the Brooklyn Dodgers) quickly recognized Jackie’s talent.  In fact, he taught her how to throw his favorite pitch.  He called it the “drop pitch.”  This pitch would come in at one level . . . but dropped, right before it reached the plate.

Even though Jackie was only five or six years old, she learned how to throw this pitch.   Dazzy Vance was impressed.  With foresight, he predicted that Jackie would become a great ball player.

With confidence, Jackie believed him.

When Jackie was sixteen years old, she played for a women’s team in Chattanooga, Tennessee. When she was seventeen, she attended a special baseball school in Atlanta, Georgia.  As a result, Jackie attracted the attention of Joe Engel, the president and owner of the Chattanooga Lookouts.  He offered her a contract to play for the entire 1931 season.

On March 28, 1931, Jackie signed the contract.  At that moment, she became an official member of the Chattanooga Lookouts, a Class AA minor league team.

    The Strikeouts

    Meanwhile, the New York Yankees had finished spring training in Florida and were on their way to New York.  As in previous years, they would stop in Chattanooga to play the Lookouts.

    The game was scheduled for April 1.  Unfortunately, it rained, and the game was cancelled.  By Thursday, April 2, the rains had stopped.  At 2:30 that afternoon, the game began but Jackie was not the starting pitcher.

    Instead, she watched.  Earle Combs, the Yankees’ lead-off batter, clobbered a double.  Lyn Lary was up next.  He slapped a single up the middle, scoring Combs from second.  Next to bat was Babe Ruth.

    At that moment, Manager Niehoff headed to the mound.  He pulled the starting pitcher and waved Jackie to the mound.

    Jackie’s first pitch to the Babe sailed high for a ball.  But her next three pitches were strikes.  In fact, her final pitch dropped across the plate for a called third strike.

    The crowd of 4,000 went wild.  But Jackie’s work was not over.  The next batter was Lou Gehrig, the Yankees’ clean-up hitter.  On three pitches, she struck him out, too.

 The Rest of the Story

The news about Jackie’s strikeouts spread across the country.  Fan mail poured in.  One envelope had no address — just the words “The Girl Who Struck Out Babe Ruth.”

Although Jackie did not continue to play for the Lookouts, she still continued to play ball.  In fact, for five years she pitched for the House of David, a baseball team that traveled across the country.

At the age of 23, Jackie returned to Chattanooga to work for her father, an eye doctor. She lived the rest of her life in the Chattanooga area.

Jackie died in 1987.  However, she always will be remembered as “The Girl Who Struck Out Babe Ruth.”‘

source:Jean Patrick

Chattanooga Lookouts History

During previous owner Joe Engel’s tenure, the Lookouts won four championships – three with the Southern Association and a fourth with the South Atlantic League.
For a time, Engel led the charge to own the Lookouts privately, with
the help of several hundred fans as shareholders from 1938 to 1942. In
1939, as a privately owned franchise under coach Kiki Cuyler, the Lookouts claimed a championship.

In 1931, the New York Yankees played an exhibition game against the Lookouts. During the game, a 17 year old girl named Jackie Mitchell pitched for the Lookouts and struck out Major League greats Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth. A few days after the game, baseball commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis voided Mitchell’s contract, claiming that baseball was “too strenuous” for women.[1]

Notable former Lookouts players that have made it to the Major Leagues include Baseball Hall of Famers Burleigh Grimes, Harmon Killebrew, and Ferguson Jenkins. Other notable former players include Alvin Davis, Mark Langston, Deion Sanders, and Pete Rose Jr. (son of Pete Rose). Ben Broussard (New York Yankees), Adam Dunn (Arizona Diamondbacks), Austin Kearns (Washington Nationals), Trevor Hoffman (San Diego Padres) and Jason LaRue (St. Louis Cardinals) currently play in the MLB.

2008 marked the teams’ 123rd season of play in Chattanooga.

The team, which plays in the Southern League, is the Double-A affiliate of the major-league club.

From 1987-2008, the Lookouts were the Double-A affiliate Cincinnati Reds. For the 2009-2010 seasons, the Los Angeles Dodgers will be the parent club.[2][3]

source:wikipedia

So in closing; comcast, if you could please get
your things together and start providing the MLB network to a town who
has deep baseball roots and who has plenty of baseball fans. We have
our own Minor League team after all. I know you may like shooting
yourself in the foot but us baseball fans here in  Chattanooga want our
baseball 24/7!


It Will Never Go Away

I didn’t have the privilege of getting into baseball like most young boys did through their fathers.That doesn’t mean baseball wasn’t a large part of my life growing up because it was. I remember playing in little league and eventually going on to the select teams in my area. I remember being robbed of my first and only home run by the umpires trusting a player on the opposite  team saying the ball bounced over. I remember the blistering summer of 98 where I (blissfully) watched Slammin Sammy Sosa & Big Mac go at it for Roger Maris 61* home runs.

I’m younger than your average baseball fan but don’t let that fool you. I’m in love more with the games past than the present. I have a better chance of telling you who threw for no hitters in 1931 than in 2001. This blog will serve its purpose for me to tell the story of baseball in my life and how it as enriched my life and others around me. I will continue to post my opinion on all the hot topics from the past (Ruth’s home run records) and present (steriod era players entering the hall) as well as looking forward to the future for what may come.

I look foward to building a community here so that we can all converse through out the up coming season which already has so many new storylines such as the New Yankee Stadium, My beloved Cubbies starting a new century, and the hot stove that is the world of baseball. I look forward to reading your posts and comments.

Regards,
NorthPaw

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