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Friday, September 17, 2010

Kevin Mitchell, Giants Legend, To Stand Trial for Alleged Golf Course Beating

Posted By on Fri, Sep 17, 2010 at 8:30 AM

click to enlarge mitchell_baseball_card.jpg
Kevin Mitchell, the home run-hitting savant who powered the San Francisco Giants' 1980s-era teams and occupies a place in every fan's heart, is less revered by a concussed San Diego-area golfer.

A man named Leonard Lerma claims the 1989 National League Most Valuable Player leaped out of a golf cart on hole No. 13 of the Bonita Golf Club on July 21, then slapped and beat him.

In addition to his storied baseball career, "Mitch" has had an interesting run off the field. In 1989 -- his MVP year -- he was sued by an ex-girlfriend who alleged he beat her and brandished a gun at her. He avoided criminal charges by completing a domestic violence program. Rape charges against him were dropped in 1991.

In 1999 he was arrested for allegedly beating his father in a rent dispute. One year after that, while managing the minor league Sonoma County Crushers, he became perhaps the first man in history to be ejected for punching out the opposing team's owner, which he did in a brawl vs. the Solano Steelheads. In 2002, he punched out the Steelheads' third base coach, allegedly for stealing signs.

Mitchell, however, is perhaps most infamous for a passage in pitcher Dwight Gooden's 1999 autobiography Heat, in which Gooden claims Mitchell, then his 1986 New York Mets teammate, decapitated a cat. Mitchell has always denied this -- and, it warrants mentioning, that the drug-addled Gooden is far from an unimpeachable source.

"Mitch" will go on trial for assault starting Nov. 3; if found guilty he could face four years in prison. He is free on $25,000 bail and has pleaded not guilty.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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