I was a kid in the 80s and I all I really remember about Kevin Mitchell were his baseball cards, his on-field exploits and the random things like that bare-handed catch, his multiple position switches, is prodigious weight gain and stuff like that. I certainly didn’t know anything about his life or what he was like as a person. You really didn’t know that stuff about anyone back then.
So I missed this thing about where he allegedly decapitated his girlfriend’s cat. Doc Gooden wrote about it in his autobiography in 1999, but I didn’t read that. Darryl Strawberry talked to HuffPostLive yesterday, however, and it came up:
“That’s a pretty good story. I think that’s pretty accurate,” Strawberry told host Marc Lamont Hill. “Kevin Mitchell did do that. Kevin Mitchell, he’s a different type of guy. Great guy, super teammate…I guess he figured that the girlfriend was acting a little crazy, so I’ll kill her cat.”
So I tweet about it just now out of shock, and then someone sends me a link to a story from October 1989 about how Mitchell used to eat Vicks VapoRup. Like actually ate it. With his mouth and stuff.
Next time someone says the players today aren’t like they used to be, think of Kevin Mitchell and then thank God Almighty that that’s the case.
In 2016, late pitcher Roy Halladay was asked if he would prefer to wear a Blue Jays or Phillies cap on his plaque if he were to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Per Mark Zwolinski of the Toronto Star, Halladay said, “I’d go as a Blue Jay.” He added, “I wanted to retire here, too, just because I felt like this is the bulk of my career.”
Obviously, circumstances have changed as Halladay tragically died in a plane crash in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida in November 2017. Halladay was elected to the Hall of Fame yesterday, becoming the first player to be posthumously elected to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility since Christy Mathewson in the Hall of Fame’s inaugural year.
Today, Arash Madani reports that Halladay’s wife Brandy said her late husband will not wear a cap with the emblem of either team on his plaque. He will instead be portrayed with a generic baseball cap. Brandy said, “He was a Major League Baseball player and that’s how we want him to be remembered.”
Halladay spent 16 years in the majors, 12 with the Blue Jays and four with the Phillies. He meant a lot to both teams. He was a six-time All-Star and won the AL Cy Young Award in 2003 with the Jays. He won the NL Cy Young in 2010 with the Phillies and was a runner-up for the award in 2011, making the All-Star team both years and helping the Phillies continue their streak of reaching the postseason, which lasted from 2007-11. Halladay authored a perfect game in the regular season against the Marlins and a no-hitter in the postseason against the Reds as a member of the Phillies in 2010 as well.
In aggregate, Halladay won 203 games with a 3.38 ERA and 2,117 strikeouts in 2,749 1/3 innings during his storied 16-year career which was unfortunately cut a bit short by injuries.