Virne Beatrice "Jackie" Mitchell Gilbert (August 29, 1912, 1913 or 1914 – January 7, 1987) was one of the first female pitchers in professional baseball history. Pitching for the Chattanooga Lookouts Class AA minor league baseball team in an exhibition game against the New York Yankees, she struck out Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig and more in succession. It is uncertain in what year Mitchell was born. Some sources suggest 1912, others 1913, and still others 1914. She weighed only a little over 3 pounds (1.4 kg) when born in Fall River, Massachusetts to Virne Wall Mitchell and Dr. Joseph Mitchell. When she learned how to walk, her father took her to the baseball diamond and taught her the basics of the game. Her next door neighbor, Dazzy Vance, taught her to pitch and showed her his "drop ball", a type of breaking ball. Later, Vance would pitch in the major leagues and eventually be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. When Mitchell was 17, she played for a women's team in Chattanooga, Tennessee and attended a special baseball school in Atlanta, Georgia.
|Date of birth|
|August 29th, 1912|