Remember that old, surly power hitting outfielder from the Giants? The quirky one who almost universally despised during his time in the league? The one who started his career out east but eventually came to Giants and won the MVP? I am, of course, talking about Barry Bonds. But Kevin Mitchell fits that category as well. Under the surly, however, we can instead say he was more temperamental than unpleasant and generally dangerous to be around.
Dangerous you say? I do. In 1986, the world’s most reliable source Dwight Gooden alleges that Mitchell decapitated his girlfriend’s cat and held her and Gooden hostage. In 1999, he was arrested for assaulting his father. He punched a minor league owner in the face in 2000. Just last year, he was arrested battery at a golf course in Florida. That’s a pretty good rap sheet.
He also managed to stay in the news because of some quirky incidents on the field, like his being unavailable to pinch hit in the 86 World Series at first, because he was booking a flight back to San Diego. There were allegations he wasn’t in uniform, and it was said that he wasn’t wearing a cup. When asked, Mitchell said he never wore a cup because “[He] couldn’t find one big enough for [his] junk”. He also missed time with a strained muscle (strained while vomiting) and had to get a root canal and a gold tooth (seen above in his picture) thanks to a donut.
Now that we have established that Mitchell was a strange, angry man, we can say that he was also a hell of a ball player for a while. He was the league MVP in 1989, hitting .291 with 47 home runs. He was pretty good the year after and in the strike shortened 94 season, but his work ethic and weight gain eventually ended his MLB career.
But oh, he is still playing! He is in a San Diego area adult league. He’s also listed among the most delinquent of tax payers in the state of California owing over 5 million dollars. Sounds about right.