No, Kevin Mitchell was not listed in baseball’s infamous Mitchell Report. He probably wasn’t on steroids. But he was an oversized left fielder for the San Francisco Giants who was so bad in the outfield that the greatest play he ever made involved him taking a horrible route to the ball and overrunning it by several feet. The connection seemed apt. Hey, at least Mitchell’s catch robbed Ozzie Smith of one of his MANY hits that would EARN him his place in the Hall of Fame. Mitchell’s Keystone Kops routine in the outfield, however, didn’t carry over to the plate, and it certainly didn’t carry over to the plate when he stood in against the Chicago Cubs. Thus, Mitchell arrives at #47 of the Top 79 Cub Killers of My Time. Mitchell is also, without a doubt, the most interesting member of the T79.
Unlike every other member of the T79 to this point (sadly), Mitchell has the distinction of being shot. Not once. Not twice. But thrice due to his involvement with the Syndo Mob, a gang so lamely named that I can only assume it was founded by a bunch of laid-off computer programmers.
Mitchell’s story gets weirder. But we’ll get to that.
Mitchell was signed by the New York Mets in 1980. To ingratiate himself with his new organization, Mitchell promptly punched that year’s #1 pick, Darryl Strawberry, in the face.
Mitchell debuted on September 4, 1984, during a 12-2 blowout loss to the Cardinals in St. Louis. Coincidentally, Mitchell was called on to pinch-hit for a different type of Cub killer, Ed Lynch. Mitchell flied out to center, and the Kevin Mitchell era was underway in New York.
Mitchell didn’t face the Cubs until June 20, 1986, at Shea Stadium. Mitchell started at SHORTSTOP, for God’s sake, meaning he and Cubs SS Shawon Dunston were able to throw a combined 289 miles per hour. The first-place Mets blew out the 6th-place Cubs 10-3 as Mitchell went 1-2 with a walk and run scored.
Mitchell had an eventful two seasons with the Mets. If you choose to believe the insane story of a coked-out-of-his-mind Dwight Gooden, Mitchell once lopped the head off of his girlfriend’s kitten with a twelve-inch kitchen knife. This is after he forced Gooden and a friend to barricade his house to prevent the entry of a bunch of imaginary cops. It takes a special kind of bat-shit crazy to get that hammered by lunchtime.
Mitchell infamously scored the tying run of Game 6 of the 1986 World Series with nothing but a thin layer of polyester between the ball and his balls. Apparently, Mitchell had as much faith in the Mets as I do in the Cubs. Allegedly (that word gets a lot of use around Mitchell), he had left the dugout to book a flight back to his hometown of San Diego, presumably when the Boston Red Sox took a two-run lead in the top of the 10th inning. Mitchell was called upon to pinch-hit for Rick Aguilera, but Mitchell was apparently already in his street clothes, so he hurriedly changed and promptly singled to center, later scoring the tying run on a Bob Stanley wild pitch. Mitchell later claimed that he never wore a cup, due to his donkey penis.
After the 1986 season, Mitchell was traded to the San Francisco Giants along with some flotsam for Adam Ging, Kevin McReynolds and Gene Walter. Mitchell had his longest tenure with the Giants, lasting five years in San Francisco. He then bounced around the league with Seattle, Cincinnati, Boston, Cincinnati again, Cleveland, and Oakland. Over the course of his thirteen seasons, he batted .284, had an OBP of .360, and slugged .520.
But don’t forget that this list is about jerks who kill the Cubs. Not just innocent kittens, and certainly not the rest of the Major League. In 76 games against the Cubs, Mitchell hit 17 home runs and drove in 50 runs. His career slugging percentage jumped more than 30 points against the Cubs, to .552. Even more killer-y, nine of his 17 home runs and 25 of his RBIs came in only 37 games at Wrigley Field. Mitchell left the Cubs a nice parting gift in his final two seasons in the National League. In his last two seasons in Cincinnati, Mitchell went 15-45 with six home runs and 15 RBIs. Good riddance.
Why You Should Hate Him: July 5, 1987. Kevin Mitchell had the ruination of your Fourth of July weekend in mind in 1987. The Cubs were 42-38 going into the game, but were about to go 34-47 to end the season and finish in dead last in the NL East. Mitchell’s Giants were only 39-40 going into the game, yet they would go 51-32 the rest of the way to win the NL West. With Bob Brenly as their catcher. SON OF A BITCH. Behind Les Lancaster, the Cubs jumped out to a 5-2 lead in the 3rd inning. It would have been a 5-0 lead but for Mitchell’s two-run blast in the second inning. Then, with the Cubs still up 5-2 in the 6th inning, Mitchell launched another 2-run homer into the seats to cut the lead to one run. The Giants would score three times in the 8th inning off GOD DAMN ED LYNCH to take the 7-5 lead they would not relinquish.
In hindsight, maybe we should all hate Ed Lynch WAY more than Kevin Mitchell.
Did You Know? Mitchell has a laundry list of ridiculous things to list in this spot, so I’m just going to put them all.
- In 1987, a girlfriend sued him for threatening her with a gun, though the charge was dropped when he agreed to counseling. Which clearly worked, as…
- Two years later, Mitchell was accused of raping his then-girlfriend WITH A FOREIGN OBJECT. I can only assume it was a whiffle ball bat. And that he did it like this. And he did it like that.
- In 1999, Mitchell beat up his 56-year-old father over some rent. If you’re wondering why the presumably-wealthy Kevin Mitchell needed to RENT a house to his father, well, it’s probably because Kevin Mitchell is an asshole.
- In 2002, Mitchell was managing (WHO THE HELL HIRED HIM TO MANAGE A BASEBALL TEAM?) the Sonoma County Crushers (Oh, okay. That makes sense.) when he punched the Solano Steelheads’ third-base coach in the face, allegedly for stealing signs.
- Most recently, he beat the shit out of someone because tensions apparently ran too high ON A GOLF COURSE. I’m starting to rethink that “there’s no reason to suspect he took steroids” thing.
- Mitchell also listed the following as “baseball injuries”: (1) straining a muscle while vomiting, (2) chipping a tooth on a previously-frozen chocolate donut which he microwaved to the consistency of granite, (3) straining his eyelids, and (4) failing to complete an 850-yard training run.
So, there you have it. Kevin Mitchell is the biggest prick on the T79 so far, but dammit, he was also the most fun to research.