All-Time Indians: Willie Mitchell


Name: William Mitchell       Position: Starting Pitcher    
Tribe Time: 1909-1916           DOB: 12/01/1889      
Best Season (1913) 14 8 0.636 1.91 35 22 14 4 217.0 153 62 46 1 88 141 1.11 5.8 .190
Career 63 76 0.453 2.89 219 148 74 9 1,301.1 1,158 600 418 9 496 775 1.27 5.4 .229

  Willie Mitchell was another great starting pitcher for the early Cleveland teams, coming up with the Naps in 1909. He joined a rotation that included the greatest pitcher of all time, Cy Young, the best Indians starter, Addie Joss, and a few other pitchers who never had problems keeping an ERA under 3.00 (Cy Falkenberg and George Kahler). Mitchell had six great seasons for the Naps/Indians, each year throwing more than 150 innings and keeping an ERA near or under 3.00 (except in 1911). Mitchell had a career year in 1913, setting a career high with 14 wins and a low ERA of 1.91. His .190 BAA still ranks in the top ten all time among Indians starters.

Mitchell's career numbers were slightly lower than could have been since he was used as a reliever more than many of the other starters on the early Cleveland teams. Over his career he threw in relief in 71 games and had just 74 complete games, a very low completion percentage for a pitcher of his age. In 1916, after posting a 5.15 ERA in 12 games, Mitchell was released by the Indians and claimed by the Detroit Tigers where he finished the last three years of his career. The Indians picked the right time to let Mitchell go, as he had just a single great year left before struggling over his last two. In 1919 Mitchell retired after throwing just 17.2 innings over his last two seasons. For his production during his time with the Tribe he should be considered one of the Indians top ten starting pitchers. He died in 1973 at the age of 83.

Joseph Coblitz

About Joseph Coblitz

Joseph is the primary writer and editor of and has been since its inception in 2011. He also writes for The Outside Corner and the Comeback and hosts the Tribe Time Now podcast. He is a graduate of the University of Akron and currently resides in Goodyear, Arizona the Spring Training home of the Cleveland Indians. Follow on twitter @BurningRiverBB