Below is an excerpt from my new book, Last Train to Cooperstown: The 2006 Hall of Fame Inductees from the Negro League Baseball Era, about George “Mule” Suttles who was born on March 31, 1900 or 1901.
“Because of the lack of documented Negro League baseball
Statistics, the total number of home runs hit by Suttles is not
known. Supposedly, he led the Negro National League in round
trippers twice. There is an eyewitness account of a 500 foot home
run he hit over the centerfield fence at Griffith Stadium in
Washington, D.C. Hall of Fame Negro Leaguer Willie Wells
frequently told the story of a 600 foot home run “Mule” hit at
Havana’s Tropical Park while playing in the Cuban Winter League.
The ball carried out of the stadium and over the heads of the Cuban
soldiers on horseback doing crowd control duty behind the fence.
Afterwards, a marker was supposedly placed at the spot the ball
landed commemorating “Mule’s” blast. Another version of thathome run has it landing in the ocean.”
Suttles spent his time in Negro League baseball mainly with the Birmingham Black Barons, St. Louis Stars, Chicago American Giants, and Newark Eagles. From 1926 – 1931 playing for St. Louis, he was one of the Negro National Leagues top home run sluggers. In five East West All Star Games, Negro League baseball’s national showcase, Suttles hit .412 with two home runs and six RBI.