Mule Suttles

George "Mule" Suttles (March 31, 1901 – July 9, 1966) was an American first baseman and outfielder in Negro league baseball, most prominently with the Birmingham Black Barons, St. Louis Stars and Newark Eagles. Best known for his power hitting, Suttles was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006.

Mule Suttles
First baseman
Born: March 31, 1901
Edgewater, Alabama
Died: July 9, 1966 (aged 65)
Newark, New Jersey
Batted: Right Threw: Right
debut
1921, for the Atlantic City Bacharach Giants
Last appearance
1944, for the Newark Eagles
Teams
Career highlights and awards
  • All-Star (1933, 1934, 1935, 1937, 1939)
Member of the National
Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Baseball Hall of Fame Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg
Induction2006
Election MethodCommittee on African-American Baseball

Negro league career

Born in Edgewater, Alabama, Suttles played one game for the Atlantic City Bacharach Giants in 1921, and broke into the Negro National League in 1923 with the Birmingham Black Barons. Suttles was renowned for hitting for power as well as batting average. In five years with the Stars (1926–1930), he led the league in home runs twice and in doubles, triples, and batting average once each.

Suttles' final seasons were spent playing first base for the Newark Eagles' "Million Dollar Infield" with Dick Seay at second, Willie Wells at shortstop, and Ray Dandridge at third. He also managed, and was highly respected.

East-West games

In five East-West All-Star Games, he batted .412 with an .883 slugging percentage. He also hit the first ever home run in the history of the East-West game.

Career totals

In 26 documented exhibition games against white competition, Suttles hit .374 with five home runs. He hit .329 with 129 home runs in Negro League competition, the latter number second on the all-time list in Negro League play, behind only Turkey Stearnes.

Legacy

Suttles, who stood 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m), weighed in at 195 lbs,[1] and used a 50-ounce bat, was known for his power, including several 500+ foot homers; a game against the Memphis Red Sox in which he blasted three homers in a single inning, and a home run at Havana, Cuba's Tropicana Park that flew over a 60-foot (18 m) high center field fence and landed in the ocean. Willie Wells saw the homer and remarked, "He hit this damn ball so far it looked like we were playing in a lot; it didn't look like no ball park." It was because of Suttles' strength that he got his nickname, and late in games when a big hit was needed his teammates would encourage him with cries of, "Kick, Mule!" Clarence Israel, an Eagles player, was quoted as saying, "He was considered my dad. Suttles was the most gentle person I ever saw."

In 2001, writer Bill James ranked Suttles as the 43rd-greatest baseball player of all-time and the second-best left fielder in the Negro leagues.[2]

Death

Suttles died of cancer in Newark, New Jersey, at age 65. Lenny Pearson, who played with and for Suttles, recalled in John Holway's book Blackball Stars: "He told us, 'When I die, have a little thought for my memory, but don't mourn me too much.'"

Suttles was interred in Glendale Cemetery in Bloomfield, New Jersey.[3]

References

  1. ^ Mule Suttles Archived 2010-09-24 at the Wayback Machine at blackbaseball.com
  2. ^ James, Bill (2001). The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract. The Free Press.
  3. ^ George "Mule" Suttles, Find A Grave. Accessed August 22, 2007.

External links

1926 in sports

1926 in sports describes the year's events in world sport.

2006 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting

Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 2006 proceeded in keeping with rules enacted in 2001, augmented by a special election; the result was the largest class of inductees (18) in the Hall's history, including the first woman elected. The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) held an election to select from among recent players. The Veterans Committee did not hold an election; the 2001 rules changes provided that elections for players retired over 20 years would be held every other year, with elections of non-players (managers, umpires and executives) held every fourth year. The Committee voted in 2005 on players who were active no later than 1983; there was no 2005 election for non-players. Elections in both categories were held in 2007.

On July 26, 2005, the Hall announced that its board of directors had approved a special election to be held in 2006, by the Committee on African-American Baseball, of Negro leagues and pre-Negro leagues candidates.

Induction ceremonies in Cooperstown were held July 30 with Commissioner Bud Selig presiding.

Birmingham Black Barons

The Birmingham Black Barons played professional baseball in Birmingham, Alabama in the Negro Leagues from 1920 to 1960. They alternated home stands with the Birmingham Barons in Birmingham's Rickwood Field, usually drawing larger crowds and equal press.

California Winter League

California Winter League is a former baseball winter league. It was the first integrated league in the 20th century as players from Major League Baseball and Negro League Baseball played each other in training games. The league was in existence from the turn of the 20th century to 1947.

Cuban League

The Cuban League was one of the earliest and longest lasting professional baseball leagues outside the United States, operating in Cuba from 1878 to 1961. The schedule usually operated during the winter months, so the league was sometimes known as the "Cuban Winter League." It was always a small league, generally 3 to 5 teams, and was centered in Havana, though it sometimes included teams from outlying cities such as Matanzas or Santa Clara. The league became racially integrated in 1900, and during the first half of the 20th century the Cuban League was a premier venue for black and white players to meet. Many great black Northern American players competed in Cuba alongside native black and white Cuban stars such as José Méndez, Cristóbal Torriente, Adolfo Luque, and Martín Dihigo. After 1947, the Cuban League entered into an agreement with Major League Baseball and was used for player development. Following the 1959 Cuban Revolution, however, tensions rose with the new Communist government, and in March 1961 the government decreed the abolition of professional baseball.

Detroit Wolves

The Detroit Wolves were a Negro league baseball club that played for the 1932 season only.

Dick Seay

Richard William "Dick" Seay (November 30, 1904 – April 6, 1981) was an American Negro league baseball player who played from 1925 to 1947 for the Brooklyn Royal Giants, Newark Stars, Baltimore Black Sox, Newark Browns, Philadelphia Stars, Newark Eagles, Pittsburgh Crawfords, and New York Black Yankees.Seay was born in West New York, New Jersey, and died in Jersey City, New Jersey. He started his baseball career with the independent Pennsylvania Red Caps of New York, where he played shortstop alongside second baseman Chino Smith. Both Seay and Smith went to play professionally in the Negro leagues. Seay also served in the military during World War II from 1943 to 1944.

While a player with the Eagles, Seay was part of the "Million Dollar Infield," consisting of Seay, Ray Dandridge, Mule Suttles, and Willie Wells.

East–West All-Star Game

The East–West All-Star Game was an annual all-star game for Negro league baseball players. The game was the brainchild of Gus Greenlee, owner of the Pittsburgh Crawfords. In 1933 he decided to match the Major League Baseball All-Star Game with Negro league players. Newspaper balloting was set up to allow the fans to choose the starting lineups for that first game, a tradition that continued through the series' end in 1962. Unlike the white All-Star game which is played near the middle of the season, the Negro All-Star game was held toward the end of the season.

Because league structures were shaky during the Great Depression and also because certain teams (notably the Kansas City Monarchs and the Homestead Grays) sometimes played entirely independent of the leagues, votes were not counted by league, but by geographical location. Hence, the games were known as the East-West All-Star Games. Votes were tallied by two of the major African-American weekly newspapers of the day, the Chicago Defender and the Pittsburgh Courier.

East–West League

The East–West League was an American Negro baseball league that operated during the period when professional baseball in the United States was segregated. Cum Posey organized the league in 1932, but it did not last the full year and folded in June of that year. It was the first Negro league to include teams from both the Eastern and Midwestern United States.

Although the league lasted less than one season, it featured one of the strongest teams in the history of Negro league baseball, the Detroit Wolves. The league provided a foundation for the development of the second Negro National League, which would become the premier league for African American baseball players.

Edgewater, Alabama

Edgewater is a census-designated place in Jefferson County, Alabama, United States. It is northeast from the Birmingham suburb of Pleasant Grove. Its population was 883 at the 2010 census. This area was damaged by tornadoes on April 15, 1956 and April 8, 1998. The 1998 tornado was rated an F5 on the Fujita scale.

Glendale Cemetery, Bloomfield

Glendale Cemetery is a cemetery located in Bloomfield and Belleville townships in the U.S. state of New Jersey.

List of Negro league baseball players

This list comprises players who have appeared in Negro league baseball.

New York Black Yankees

The New York Black Yankees were a professional Negro league baseball team based in New York City, Paterson, NJ, and Rochester, NY which played in the Negro National League from 1936 to 1948. The Black Yankees played in Paterson, New Jersey from 1933-1937 and then from 1939-1945. The 1938 season saw the Black Yankees trying their fate at New York's Triborough Stadium. Paterson's strong fan support returned the Black Yankees to Paterson's Hinchliffe Stadium.

Newark Eagles

The Newark Eagles were a professional Negro league baseball team which played in the Negro National League from 1936 to 1948. They were owned by Abe and Effa Manley.

St. Louis Stars (baseball)

The St. Louis Stars, originally the St. Louis Giants, were a Negro league baseball team that competed independently from as early as 1906 to 1919, and then joined the Negro National League (NNL) for the duration of their existence. After the 1921 season, the Giants were sold by African-American promoter Charlie Mills to Dick Kent and Dr. Sam Sheppard, who built a new park and renamed the club the Stars. As the Stars, they eventually built one of the great dynasties in Negro league history, winning three pennants in four years from 1928 to 1931.

Suttles

Suttles is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Duncan Suttles (born 1945), Canadian International Grandmaster of Chess

Gerald D. Suttles (1932–2017), American sociologist

Mule Suttles (1900–1966), American baseball player

Wayne Suttles (1918–2005), American anthropologist and linguist

Turkey Stearnes

Norman Thomas "Turkey" Stearnes (May 8, 1901 – September 4, 1979) was an African American outfielder in the Negro leagues. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2000.

Washington Pilots

The Washington Pilots were a Negro league baseball team in the East-West League, based in Washington, D.C., in 1932.Baseball Hall of Famer Mule Suttles played for Washington in 1932. The Pilots would field an independent team in 1934.

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