Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Nicknames: Mule

"Where's my mule, where's my 40 acres. Where's my dream, Mr. Emancipator. Where's my Mule, Where's my Mule." ~ Gov't Mule's "Mule"

  You probably know that the mule is the offspring of a male donkey and a female horse and is a sterile beast. When it comes to nicknames in the game, then, it must be an awful thing then to get labeled as "Mule". And if one does a search for men who were nicknamed after the beast, you're more than likely to discover that most of their careers-for the most part- were pretty barren. They were men whose career began with a promise that was never completely fulfilled.

 Before we get to the players, though,  I want to include a custom card of Gov't Mule based upon a 2006 concert poster. The card I used as the template was a 2006 Allen & Ginter Printing Plate of Abraham Lincoln-I thought they went well together. If I ever get bored with the card industry, I very well may move into collecting poster art of the band. Heck, I might even pick up a second hobby.

 John "Mule" Watson
Photo of Mule Watson   This mule is a tough one to find much info on-let alone trying to find a piece of cardboard of him. He did play for the Boston Braves from 1920-1923, as well as for the Philadelphia Athletics, Pittsburgh Pirates, and New York Giants. Although he could be an "inning eater", he was also very ineffective at times. Watson's greatest feat came on August 13th, 1921, when he pitched both games of a double-header for Boston as he beat Philadelphia 4-3 and 8-0. By the way, he pitched two complete games that day.

                                        Dick "Mule" Dietz
   When it comes to "Moneyball"-types, Mule Dietz was a stud! A catcher who had an unbelievable season in 1970:  hit .300, with 22 HR, 107 RBI, .515 Slg, 109 BB, .426 OBP. He also made the All-Star game that year. In fact, he was the guy you may have seen hugging Pete Rose after The Hit King smoked Ray Fosse at home plate. By 1974 he was out of the game. "Not too many people know who I am. This [1970] is my fifth year in the league & I don't really have any clear-cut image. I haven't been a regular until this season." Well, apparently he did have an image: that of a mule.
  Mule Dietz had a card in the '73 Topps set which pictured him as a Dodger, even though he played with Atlanta in '73-which was his las year in the majors. Thankfully, I was able to find a photo of him wearing the red, white, and blue.

     George "Mule" Haas
   Haas enjoyed a lengthy major league career, playing in 1925 and 1928-1938 with Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and the ChiSox. The nickname supposedly came from one of George's hits in game 4 of the 1928 World Series. With the Athletics trailing the Cubs 8-0 in the bottom of the 7th, Philadelphia rallied for 10 runs- three of which came on an inside-the-park homer off of Haas' bat  (which had the "kick of a mule", according to a veteran sportswriter). Some cite the name coming from his facial features, while others state it was a result of the stubbornness he often displayed. I guess it beats a nickname he had earlier in his life- "eggs".

George "Mule" Suttles 
   "A free-swinger who struck out frequently, Suttles was a low-ball hitter with a big, powerful swing who hit towering tape-measured home runs that are still remembered by his teammates. The players would yell, 'Kick, Mule!' and he would 'kick' it out of the park."~ James Riley

   Suttles was one of the most feared hitters in the Negro Leagues, probably second only to Josh Gibson in the fear factor. This mule kicked it with a 50-ounce bat, and supposedly hit one home run in Cuba that flew over a 60-foot high fence in center that stood 500 feet from home plate. Suttles never played in the Major Leagues, but was elected by the Negro League Committee into the baseball Hall of Fame in 2006.


  1. Hey Braves partner. Johnny here (johnnys trading spot) I think the Darryl palmer you are looking for is actually 1986 Topps Traded card #84. At least that is the first card I have listed for him. BTW loved that Kimbrel custom 1992 UD

    1. 86 all the above. I get it, the promo card for the movie, not a real 84 Topps card, sorry bud. I'll have to add that to my want list too.