Mitchell played for four seasons in the majors, breaking in with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1980 and finishing with the Minnesota Twins in 1983. In 202 games, he hit .243 with three home runs. He was Minnesota’s starting center fielder in 1982 and played in 124 games. He hit .249 that season with 48 runs scored and eight stolen bases.
Mitchell got his first big-league hit in what was his sixth big-league game. It was actually his first at bat though, as he’d been a defensive replacement and pinch runner in his previous five appearances. On Sept. 9, 1980, at the Astrodome, Mitchell came to the plate to lead off the top of the ninth inning with Houston Astros’ Dave Smith on the hill. He singled to right field, but was forced out at second on a Bill Russell groundout. Houston won the game 5-4.
Mitchell did not hit a home run until he was traded to the Twins in 1982. He got his first one on April 23, 1982, when he took Seattle’s Larry Andersen deep in the fourth inning of their game at the Kingdome, helping Minnesota to a 12-4 win.
When his playing career ended, Mitchell went on to coach and manage in the minor leagues. Prior to making it to the majors, he played in the 1967 Little League World Series for the Northridge, Calif., team.
Bobby Mitchell – career stats