A Biography in 1,000 Players No. 79 Johnny Mize (Number 7 First Base)

Johnny Mize is often recognized as the best player who was elected by the Veterans Committee. One article called him the only player that they should have elected that they missed. Before World War 2 he led the league in slugging four times in five years. He was runner up for the MVP two years in a row.

Then he was in the military for three years of WWII. He was 33 when he came back but had three really good seasons for the Giants. In 1947 he hit 51 homeruns. The Giants hit 221 as a team. However, they came in fourth place. They led the league in runs scored by 50 but didn’t have a very good defense. It caused some to say homeruns were overrated and might have hurt Mize’s Hall of Fame voting in the long run.

In 1949 Mize was 36 and started to show his age. He was sold to the Yankees for $40,000. Mize got to play in his first World Series. He was used as a pinch hitter. In game 3 and the series tied at one Mize came up in the top of 9th bases full, two outs and the game tied at one. Mize hit a two-run single to give the Yankees the lead. The Yankees added an insurance run to make the score 4-1. It was a good thing they did as the Dodgers hit two solo homers in the bottom of the ninth and the Yankees held on to a 4-3 victory. Mize didn’t play the next two games, but the Yankees won them both to win the World Series.

Mize stayed on the Yankees four more years and they won the World Series each year. Mize was basically a platoon player those four years. He didn’t hit as well as he use to, but he hit will enough to help the Yankees win four pennants.

His last two years he lost a lot of power. In 1952 he hit only 4 homeruns, but then hit 3 in 5 games of the World Series. This helped the Yankees beat Brooklyn in 7 games.  After 1953 he retired.

Leave a reply