Johnny Mize

A Biography of Baseball’s “Big Cat”


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About the Book

During his 15–season Major League career, slugger Johnny Mize was among the preeminent power hitters in baseball, a star for the St. Louis Cardinals and the New York Giants, and a clutch player for the New York Yankees when they won five straight World Series in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Raised in rural Georgia, Mize caught the tail end of the Cardinals’ Gas House Gang era and had his career interrupted by World War II before achieving greatness at the plate. An MVP, perennial All-Star and four-time National League home-run champion, he made a science of batting and wrote a book on it (How to Hit, 1953). This first full-length biography traces the arc of Mize’s career through his prime years in the limelight to his retirement, when renewed interest in his legacy saw him inducted into the Hall of Fame.

About the Author(s)

Lew Freedman is a long-time, prize-winning journalist for such newspapers as the Philadelphia Inquirer, Chicago Tribune, Anchorage Daily News and Wyoming’s Cody Enterprise. Specializing in sports and the outdoors, he has written more than 100 books. He lives in Columbus, Indiana.

Bibliographic Details

Lew Freedman
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 207
Bibliographic Info: 10 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2022
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8593-9
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4539-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface 1
Introduction 3
1. Beginnings 7
2. The Minors 13
3. The Majors—Rookie Year 20
4. Cardinals Stardom 25
5. Low-Key Johnny Amid the Wild Men 32
6. Hitting Your Best 40
7. Home Runs in Bunches 46
8. 1939 54
9. St. Louis Shakes Things Up 63
10. Giants and War 72
11. Getting Back in the Swing with the Giants 80
12. Johnny Mize’s Greatest Year 87
13. Last Call with the Giants 99
14. A Winner in No Time 107
15. Getting Set for a World Series 114
16. The 1949 World Series 120
17. Let’s Do It Again 131
18. Legends Crossing 144
19. 1952 154
20. Last Call 164
21. Retirement 172
Epilogue: The Hall at Last 179
Chapter Notes 185
Bibliography 193
Index 195