Late Eighties Mets Pitcher: John Mitchell (1986-1989)

John Kyle Mitchell was born on August 11, 1965 in Dickson, Tennessee. The six foot two, right-hander was drafted out of high school while at Nashville in 1983, by the Boston Red Sox in the seventh round.

Tragedy: After his 1983 minor league season, he & two team mates Anthony Latham and Scott Skripko went fishing off the coast of Florida. Their boat capsized, and they were left clinging for life, for twenty hours before being rescued.

Tragically the owner of the boat & Latham both drowned. Mitchell said he held on to a bucket & some debris during the time it took to get rescued. Years later he named his child in honor of his fallen team mate.

In November of 1985 Mitchell came over to the New York Mets in the Bobby Ojeda deal. He pitched at AAA Tidewater in 1986, going 12-9 with a 3.38 ERA, getting a September call up. He debuted at Shea Stadium on September 8th pitching one inning relief against the Montreal Expos. He made three relief appearances & had one start taking a loss to the Philadelphia Phillies allowing four runs on seven hits in five innings pitched.

The following year he remained on the staff most of the year, filling in when injuries took certain pitchers out of the rotation. On July 19th Mitchell pitched a complete game victory, allowing just one run on five hits to the Philadelphia Phillies at Shea Stadium.

He got 19 starts going 3-6 with a 4.11 ERA. He struck out 57 batters in 111 innings pitched and pretty much became a forgotten man on the 1980’s Mets teams.

Over the next two seasons he would only appear in just three Mets games, pitching mostly at AAA Tidewater going 10-9 with a 2.34 ERA in 1988. That year he tied Wally Whitehurst for second on the Tides staff behind David West in wins. In 1989 he was 11-11 second to Blaine Beatty on the Tides staff.

By 1990 he was sent to the Baltimore Orioles for Keith Hughes, there he went 6-6 with a 4.64 ERA finishing his brief MLB career. In five seasons Mitchell was 9-14 with a 4.35 ERA, posting 107 strike outs with 93 walks in 240 innings pitched in 51 appearances (37 starts).

He spent four seasons in the minors & then four more seasons in the independent leagues before leaving baseball in 1998. Overall in minor league ball he is 97-82 with a 3.34 ERA in 247 games.

Retirement: Since his playing days Mitchell has worked for for a company that makes municipal castings in Nashville, Tennessee.


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