Friday, March 31, 2017

The Negro League Baseball History Fact For Today - Goerge "Mule" Suttles

Teammates would say when Negro League power hitter George “Mule” Suttles, born March 31, 1900 or 1901, swung his bat at a pitch they could feel the earth shake.  “Kick Mule, Kick Mule”, is what fans and teammates would chant when “Mule” came up to bat.  The fifty ounce bat he swung was a testament to his strength. 

Although the year of his birth is in dispute, one thing is not; other than Josh Gibson no other power slugger was feared by Negro League pitchers more than “Mule”.  Suttles may not have hit more home runs than Gibson, but he could hit them as far.

The following about Suttles is an excerpt from my book, Last Train in Cooperstown:  The 2006 Baseball Hall of Fame Inductees from the Negro League Baseball Era:

“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 center field fence at Griffith Stadium in
Washington, D.C. Hall of Fame Negro League shortstop 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.  Afterward, a marker was supposedly placed at the spot the

ball landed commemorating “Mule’s” blast. Another version of that

home run has it landing in the ocean.

Chico Renfro, former Kansas City Monarch’s infielder and

longtime sports editor recalled, “Suttles had the rawest power of

any player I’ve ever seen.” Since the major white newspapers

mainly ignored Negro League baseball, “Mule” was not included

when the Major League power hitters of that time ‐ Babe Ruth, Lou

Gehrig, Hack Wilson, Jimmie Foxx, and others, were given national

media recognition. However, “Mule” was popular among Negro

League baseball fans because they knew the stories about his

home run power.”

To read more about "Mule" and the Negro League baseball era Last Train To Cooperstown

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