Female Baseball Player. Although not the first woman signed to play professional baseball, she made sports history by a feat performed on the field April 2, 1931. At the age of 17, as a member of the Chattanooga Lookouts, she took the mound during an exhibition game with the New York Yankees. The first batter she faced was Babe Ruth. Her first pitch was a ball, he swung at the next two, then the fourth pitch was called a strike. Ruth threw his bat down, argued with the umpire, then stormed back to the dugout. Next up was Lou Gehrig, who swung and missed all three pitches. After receiving a standing ovation, Mitchell walked the third batter and was pulled from the game. The story of the teenage girl who struck out two of the greatest hitters in baseball history was reported in newspapers and newsreels across the country. Despite the fanfare, days later her contract with the team was voided by Baseball Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis. His official reasoning was that baseball was "too strenuous" for women. She continued playing in exhibition games before retiring from baseball at the age of 23. Although her professional career lasted only two-thirds of an inning, her story has become legend in both baseball and women's sports history. In 2000, a book about her story called "The Girl Who Struck Out Babe Ruth" was published.
Bio by: Evening Blues