A splendid hitter for over a decade in Cleveland, Mitchell is best remembered for one of his few at-bats with the Dodgers. Despite being one of the toughest batters to fan in ML history (only 119 strikeouts in 3,984 at-bats), on October 8, 1956, he took a called third strike for the final out in Don Larsen's perfect game in Game Five of the 1956 World Series.
After hitting .432 in 11 games for the Indians in 1946, Mitchell became their starting left fielder in 1947 and hit .316. He hit over .300 six of his seven seasons as a regular, with a career-high .336 in 1948 as Cleveland won the World Series. Mitchell led the AL with 203 hits and 23 triples in 1949, and hit .300 with 13 home runs in 1953, but in 1954 he was relegated to pinch-hitting duties after the arrival of Al Smith. His last ML home run, on September 18, 1954, clinched the pennant for the Indians. He was sold to the Dodgers in July 1956, and his final ML at-bat was his pinch-hitting appearance against Larsen. He always maintained that the third strike he took was really a ball. (FK)
Contribute your recollections of Dale Mitchell by clicking here.