Mule Suttles

1st Baseman

Class of 2006

Mule Suttles

1st Baseman

Class of 2006
Noted for his soft-spoken personality, Mule Suttles was one of the Negro Leagues' premier power hitters.


Birth year

About Mule Suttles

George “Mule” Suttles was almost lost to history.

As noted in a Tuscaloosa News article following his 2006 induction in the Baseball Hall of Fame, “He was born at the start of a century that’s passed in a town that no longer exists. He played for teams that have long since folded, in leagues that closed up shop more than 50 years ago.”

Even so, the reputation of Mule Suttles was sufficient to ensure his name would not be forgotten.

“He didn’t get the ballyhoo that Satchel and Josh got,” said teammate Squire Moore. “They were the ones who it seemed all the sports writers put the praise on. Mule Suttles was a powerful hitter. I can’t fathom why he didn’t get the publicity they got. He was a laid-back person. He didn’t do much talking. He wasn’t the boastful type. Sometimes the better players get overlooked.”

Born March 31, 1901, in Edgewater, Ala., Suttles – a slugging first baseman and outfielder – had a playing career that lasted almost the entire golden era of Negro Leagues baseball, from 1921 to 1944. He starred with some of the great squads of segregated baseball, including the Newark Eagles, Chicago American Giants and the Birmingham Black Barons.

He topped the .300 mark in 12 full seasons and was particularly known for his power. According to Moore, fans and opponents would gather to watch him at batting practice.

“They’d come out to see him hit the ball. I can tell you he was a great hitter. He was known for his power. He could really hit the ball a long way. In batting practice, he hit some tape-measure balls. He could really hit it for distance.”

His skills were so noted by his contemporaries that he was selected to play in five East-West Classic All-Star Games, where in 1933 he knocked the first home run ever hit in the event.

In addition to his baseball skills, Suttles was also known as a good teammate, often serving as a father figure to the younger players.

“We always wondered why Uncle George was never mentioned,” said his niece Merriett Burley who accepted his plaque during the 2006 Induction Ceremony in Cooperstown. “They always mentioned Satchel Paige and Josh Gibson and Cool Papa Bell, but they never mentioned Uncle George. We’re now saying he’s getting his just rewards.”

Suttles passed away on July 9, 1966.

The Basics

Year inducted
Birth Place
Edgewater, Alabama
Birth Year
1966, Newark New Jersey

Career at a Glance

Primary Team
Newark Eagles
Primary Position
1st Baseman
Played For
Birmingham Black Barons, 1923-1925
St. Louis Stars, 1926-1931
Chicago American Giants, 1929
Baltimore Black Sox, 1930
Detroit Wolves, 1932
Chicago American Giants, 1933-1935
Newark Eagles, 1936-1940
Newark Eagles, 1942-1944

Career MLB Stats

At bats
Home Runs
Stolen Bases
Batting Average
On Base %
Slugging %

Mule Suttles Stories

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