It was an exhibition game, the Yanks against
The Chattanooga Lookouts, in 1931. A short
Reliever was brought in after the starter gave
Up two long hits in the first. Batter number 3,
Babe Ruth, took the first pitch, called a ball. The
Next two pitches were what we now call sliders,
Abruptly dropping from knee level – – – and the
Bambino swung and missed at each. The fourth
Pitch was high – – – and then suddenly dove like a
Deflated balloon into the strike zone for a called
Third strike! Lou Gehrig, who had chuckled at his
Renowned teammate’s astonishing k, was this
Minor League pitcher’s next strikeout victim, swinging
And missing pitch after pitch after pitch. Remember,
In 1930, Ruth hit .359, had 49 dingers and drove in 153!
That year, Gehrig hit .379, had 220 hits, including 41
Homers and 173 runs batted in. And here, both had
Been struck out by a teenager who never faced them
Before . . . or after.

Who was this barely pro hurler? Well, the 17-year-old,
Jackie Mitchell, grew up next door to Dazzy Vance,
A future Hall of Famer, and learned that pitch from this
Well-skilled hurler who somehow saw potential in this
Child. Later, Jackie was at a baseball school in Atlanta
When a scout saw Mitchell’s pitching skill and contacted
The Lookouts. The rest is, as they say, history – – – or,
As I say, herstory, since Jackie Mitchell, the low-pro
Pitcher who struck out the Babe and Lou and had them
Looking like just a pair of non-contact hitters from the
Bronx, was a young lady!