Her Curves Were Too Much For Them

A novella by Andy Broome


Who is Jackie Mitchell?

Excerpt from chapter five of Her Curves Were Too Much For Them
    The town of Fall River, Massachusetts may best be known for accused axe murderer Lizzie Borden but this town south of Boston is the birthplace of another famous woman, a woman famous not because of murder, but because of Murderers Row.
On Thursday August 29th, 1912, Dr. Joseph and Virne Wall Mitchell gave birth to a tiny three and a half-pound baby girl named Virne Beatrice Mitchell. “Jack” or “Jackie” as she would be called was as frail as a dozen eggs. Jackie was a weak little baby. The doctor told her mother that exercise and activity were required to build up little Jackie. From the time she could walk, Dr. Joe was chasing Jackie around the yard and playing ball.

Jackie accomplished something most men never could. She struck out the mighty Babe Ruth and the Iron Horse Lou Gehrig and she did it before she was old enough to vote.

Jackie in her school uniform

When Jackie signed her professional baseball contract, she became only the second woman in history to have ever done so. The signing was a celebration in true Engel style. The signing was covered not only by the press but broadcasted live over the radio.  

Jackie signs her professional contract

Jackie's first opponent was to be the mighy New York Yankees. The Yankees would stop in Chattanooga as they worked their way from Florida to New York. Some said it was fitting that such a "stunt" would take place on April 1st, April Fool's Day.

2009 Obak Jackie Mitchell

As if it was a sign from the heavens that Jackie's big day was more than a stunt, the game was postponed due to rain.

The next day, April 2nd, the clouds parted and the sun dried the field. Before a croud of 4,000 including friends, family and cameras from all over the country, young Jackie suited up to play with the Chattanooga Lookouts.
Just before the game, Joe Engel intorduced Jackie to her two main rivals, Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.

Jackie and the Babe

Do you think Jackie was just a little nervous? If she was, she didn't let the cameras see it.

In the first enning, with a man on and Babe Ruth next up to bat, manager Niehoff proceeded to the mound to pull Lookouts pitcher Clyde Barfoot. This was highly unusual but the plan was already in place. Jackie would go in and face the next two batters, Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.

To find out what happens next, read Her Curves Were Too Much for Them by Andy Broome.

Have a question about Jackie? Look here!



Author Andy Broome is a life long baseball card collector and Chattanooga Lookouts fan.

Andy is the Senior Vintage Card Expert and Grader with Beckett Grading Services in Dallas, TX.

His articles and cartoons can be found in the monthly Beckett Media publications (www.Beckett.com)

He has been featured on Fox Sports "Amazing Sports Stories" and has worked with the PBS series "Antiques Roadshow."

The photo above shows Andy holding the "most expensive baseball card in the World," a copy of the rare 1909 T206 Honus Wagner. This copy sold in May 2008 for a record-setting $317,000.00



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All content is 2009 Andy Broome including all images unless otherwise credited and all text and excerpts from books or manuscripts. Nothing may be copied or used without written consent.