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Sunday, 21 July 2013
BLACK SOCIAL HISTORY : AFRICAN AMERICAN FIRST BASE MAN AND OUTFIELDER IN NEGRO LEAGUE BASE BALL - GEORGE "MULE" SUTTLES BEST KNOWN FOR HIS POWER HITTING : GOES INTO THE " HALL OF BLACK GENIUS"
BLACK SOCIAL HISTORY 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.
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.
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.
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.
Suttles, who stood 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m), weighed in at 195 lbs, 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.
Suttles died of cancerBlackball 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.