George Mitterwald Delighted Wrigley Field Fans

Posted July 18th, 2013 by Tom Owens and filed in Chicago Cubs, George Mitterwald, Wrigley Field, www.retrosheet.org

Still available on eBay: do you
think this game-used bat could
have been Mitterwald’s “Wonder Boy” bat?
Buy it now, only $795???
 

New Cub George Mitterwald stole the show early with his new team in 1974.

Check out the power-hitting highlights from the fine folks at www.Retrosheet.org. Three home runs and eight RBI in one game only begins to tell the story. Mitterwald recalled:

“My three homer, one double and eight RBI game was so memorable it is and was really hard to explain. It was only my fifth home game with the Cubs, and needless to say, a good start with a new ball club. I got at least eight standing ovations during the day. That was fun, also.”

This was an epic, fun letter from a player worth remembering. Thanks, G.M.!

Twin George Mitterwald Recalls Owner Calvin Griffith

Posted July 15th, 2013 by Tom Owens and filed in Calvin Griffith, George Mitterwald, Minnesota Twins

I’m agog over the “Ghosts of D.C.” blog. I
found this classic 1959 image there of owner Griffith
hovering between President Eisenhower and
star Harmon Killebrew. Please, read their
great “what if?” essay speculating
on how the Twins could have
become the L.A. Dodgers! How would
Mr. Mitterwald have felt about that?
 

The ex-Twins catcher sounded so pleased to recall manager Billy Martin.

Then, I spoiled it all for George Mitterwald.

Did he have a memory of owner Calvin Griffith?

“Calvin was a one-owner owner and he liked to let everyone know it. We used to say he threw nickels around like they were manhole covers.

He tried to cut my salary my third year after raising my average 30 points and breaking the fielding record for catchers with a .997 average.

I ended up getting a $4,000 raise, but had to hold out for eight days to get it. He held it against me all the season and curbed my playing time.

I never had real problems with the Cubs.”

Coming Thursday: George’s best day ever?

Twins Catcher George Mitterwald Salutes Manager Billy Martin

Posted July 11th, 2013 by Tom Owens and filed in Billy Martin, Calvin Griffith, George Mitterwald, Minnesota Twins, The Sporting News

I miss the old “Baseball Bible.”
The cover paintings were part of
that reverence. I never tried to
get a TSN autographed. I couldn’t
bear seeing those covers bent in
the mail!
 

George Mitterwald hasn’t forgotten manager Billy Martin. I asked for any memories of their brief time together in Minnesota. Mitterwald replied:

“Billy Martin was a great manager, whom I learned a lot of baseball from. His strategy and willingness to always push the envelope when it came to making the opposition try to stop us from taking extra bases, stopping us from stealing home, double stealing and taking the extra base almost all the time.

Off the field he was brash at times, generous all the time and just plain fun to be around all the time because of his comedic nature.”

Coming Monday: Contrasting memories of owner Calvin Griffith.