Dec 26 2010

Mule Suttles

Mule Suttles

A great power hitter who swung for distance rather than average, Suttles generated as much power as anyone in black baseball. Standing 5’11”, and weighing in at 195 lbs., Mule’s play afield was not impressive, either at first base or in the outfield. However, the big right-hander’s heavy hitting earned him a place on several great teams. As an outfielder, Mule supplied the power on the champion St. Louis Stars of 1928, 1930 and 1931. After the Stars disbanded, Mule moved to the Chicago American Giants and powered them to a championship in 1933. Later he joined the Newark Eagles as a first baseman and became a part of the celebrated “million dollar infield.”

While with Chicago, he made three All-Star appearances and added two more while with the Eagles. Putting on a power display in the early East-West All-Star games, he hit two home runs, both under dramatic circumstances. His first home run helped the East to victory in the inaugural game and was the first home run hit in All-Star competition. His second came two years later in the 11th inning to give the East squad the victory in that game also. Although not generally recognized as a high average batter, the totals for his five years of All-Star competition show a .412 batting average and an incredible .883 slugging percentage.
The big Louisiana native began his professional career at the age of 17 and played until he was 42, before bowing out as a player. Mule left behind partial records which credit him with a .453 lifetime average in league play. His longevity may be attributed to his outlook on life, which he expressed, “Don’t worry about the Mule going blind, just load the wagon and give me the lines.” And the Mule did pull the load for 26 years.

Years Played:

Positions Played:
1b, lf, rf, manager, umpire

Birmingham Black Barons, St. Louis Stars
Baltimore Black Sox, Detroit Wolves
Washington Pilots, Cole’s American Giants
Newark Eagles, Indianapolis ABCs
New York Black Yankees

Comparable Players:
Ralph Kiner, Willie McCovey

About the author

The Editors