Jackie Mitchell 😘 The teenage girl who struck out Babe Ruth & Lou Gehrig.
Jackie Mitchell was born on August 29, 1913. Her full name was Virne Beatrice Mitchell. She was only the second professional female baseball player in the history of the game. The first was Lizzie Arlington. She (Lizzie) pitched in a game for a team known as the Reading Coal Heavers in 1898.
At a very early age, Mitchell's father had her on a baseball field and was teaching her the basics of the game. Her next door neighbor had been the professional baseball pitcher known as Dazzy Vance. He was a professional baseball player for 20 years and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Vance was the only player to ever lead major league baseball in strikeouts for seven consecutive seasons. He would spend time with Jackie Mitchell teaching her how to throw various types of pitches such as a breaking ball and his special way of making the ball drop.
When Jackie Mitchell was 16, she started playing for a woman's baseball team known as the Englettes. The team's home was Chattanooga, Tennessee but they would go to Atlanta, Georgia for their baseball training camps. During one of these baseball camps, Mitchell's pitching skill caught the attention of Joe Engel. He was president and owner of the Chattanooga Lookouts baseball team. Engel was known in the world of professional baseball for his willingness to perform publicity stunts as a way to promote his teams. This was during the Great Depression, and his stunts often resulted in drawing large crowds to see his teams play. Engel was impressed with Jackie Mitchell's pitching and decided to sign her to the team. She officially became part of the Chattanooga Lookouts on March 25, 1931.
Newspaper reporters were fascinated by Mitchell's ability to pitch using a unique side-arm delivery. This enabled her to put both speed and a strong curve on the ball when she threw it. Managers believed her greatest ability was being able to control the ball when she pitched. Many felt she was able to place the ball in any area she desired. Coaches were impressed by her ability to quickly identify a batter's weakness. Many of the sports reporters in Chattanooga believed she had the ability to be the first woman to regularly pitch in the big leagues.
The Chattanooga Lookouts were scheduled to play an exhibition game with the New York Yankees. The game was rained out. The game was played next day, April 2, 1931. This is when Jackie Mitchell took the mound in the first inning as a relief pitcher. The starting pitcher was Clyde Barfoot, and he'd just given up a single and a double. The next two scheduled batters were baseball legends, Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.
Jackie Mitchell was throwing her trademark sinker. Her fist pitch to Babe Ruth was called a ball. During the next two pitches, Ruth swung at both and missed. He asked the umpire to inspect the ball. A new one was thrown out to Mitchell by the umpire. The fourth pitch delivered to Babe Ruth was a called third strike. Ruth was furious. He glared at the umpire and started screaming at him. Other Yankee players had to come onto the field and lead him away. He was calm by the time he reached the bench. During this time, the crowed was screaming their approval for Jackie Mitchell. After the game, Babe Ruth told a Chattanooga newspaper that he didn't know what would happen if women were permitted to play baseball. He felt they were too delicate and it would be too difficult for them to play every day. The next batter Mitchell would face was Lou Gehrig. She threw three pitches, and Lou Gehrig swung through all three of them for the out. The crowd's excitement was almost uncontrollable. They gave her a standing ovation that lasted several minutes. Mitchell walked the next batter, and the coach took her out of the game. The Yankees eventually won the game 14-4. Jackie Mitchell became famous in the world of sports. She was only professional female baseball pitcher who consecutively struck out two of the greatest players in the history of baseball.
Born September 13, 1857 on a farm near Derry Church, a small Pennsylvania community, Milton Hershey was the only surviving child of Fannie and Henry Hershey. His mother raised him in the strict discipline of the Mennonite faith. Frequent family moves interrupted his schooling and left him with a limited education. He only completed the fourth grade.
Following a four-year apprenticeship with a Lancaster candy maker, he established his first candy making business in Philadelphia. That initial effort failed as did his next two attempts in Chicago and New York. Returning to Lancaster, PA in 1883, Hershey established the Lancaster Caramel Company, which quickly became an outstanding success. It was that business which established him as a candy maker and set the stage for future accomplishments.
Hershey became fascinated with German chocolate-making machinery exhibited at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition. He bought the equipment for his Lancaster plant and soon began producing a variety of chocolate creations. Hershey sold the Lancaster Caramel Co. for $ 1 million in 1900 in order to concentrate exclusively on his chocolate business. Three years later, he returned to Derry Church to build a new factory. There he could obtain the large supplies of fresh milk needed to perfect and produce fine milk chocolate.
Excited by the potential of milk chocolate, which at that time was a Swiss luxury product, Milton Hershey determined to develop a formula for milk chocolate and market and sell it to the American public. Through trial and error he created his own formula for milk chocolate. In 1903 he began construction on what was to become the world's largest chocolate manufacturing plant. The facility, completed in 1905, was designed to manufacture chocolate using the latest mass production techniques. Hershey's milk chocolate quickly became the first nationally marketed product of its kind.
With Milton Hershey's success came a profound sense of moral responsibility and benevolence. His ambitions were not limited to producing chocolate. Hershey envisioned a complete new community around his factory. He built a model town for his employees that included comfortable homes, an inexpensive public transportation system, a quality public school system and extensive recreational and cultural opportunities. Unlike other industrialists of his time, Hershey avoided building a faceless company town with row houses. He wanted a "real home town" with tree-lined streets, single- and two-family brick houses, and manicured lawns. He was concerned about providing adequate recreation and diversions, so he built a park that opened on April 24, 1907, and expanded rapidly over the next several years. Amusement rides, a swimming pool, and a ballroom were added. Soon, trolley cars and trains were bringing thousands of out-of-town visitors to the park.
Many of the town's impressive structures were built during the Great Depression, as part of Milton Hershey's "Great Building Campaign," to provide jobs. It was then that monumental structures such as The Hotel Hershey, community center, theatre, sports arena and stadium were constructed, transforming the town into a major tourist attraction that continues to grow in popularity each year.
Milton Hershey's business success allowed him to practice an extensive philanthropy. In 1909, unable to have children of their own, he and his wife Catherine established a school for orphan boys that today is known as the Milton Hershey School. In 1918, three years after Catherine's premature death, Milton Hershey endowed the school with his entire fortune of Hershey Chocolate Company stock. He took great pride in the growth of the school, the town, and his business. For the rest of his life, he always placed the quality of his product and the well-being of his workers ahead of profits.
In 1935, Milton Hershey established The M.S. Hershey Foundation, a small, private charitable foundation to provide educational and cultural opportunities for local residents. The Foundation supports four entities: The Hershey Story, Hershey Gardens, Hershey Theatre and Hershey Community Archives.
In 1963, The Milton S. Hershey Medical Center of The Pennsylvania State University was founded with a $ 50 million award from the Milton Hershey School Trust Fund for construction and endowment, and $ 21.3 million from the U.S. Public Health Services. The College of Medicine enrolled its first students in 1967 and has conferred 2,182 doctor of medicine degrees.
The Milton S. Hershey Testamentary Trust makes an annual contribution to the Derry Township School District, the local public school district.
Since his death in 1945 at age 88, Milton Hershey's legacy has thrived with a constantly changing world. Today, Milton Hershey School, the institution he and his wife founded, nurtures more than 2,000 financially needy boys and girls in grades K-12. The school and the Hershey philanthropy are perpetuated through the holdings of the Milton Hershey School Trust, which in turn derives much of its support from the profits of The Hershey Company and Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Company.
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