We continue our look at the Dodgers minor league affiliates. The Chattanooga Lookouts have been the Dodgers AA affiliate since 2009. Named for the Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga, Tennessee, they are a member of the Southern League. The Lookouts play at AT&T Field which opened in 2000 and seats 6,160. The Lookouts have a rich history, and were established in 1885. Carlos Subero is the current manager alongside the hitting coach Franklin Stubbs and pitching coach Chuck Crim.
Hall of Famers Harmen Killebrew, Burleigh Grimes, and Ferguson Jenkins were former Lookouts players.
The number two Dodger prospect named by Baseball America, Allen Webster, played last season as a Lookout, and he played in 18 games finishing with a 6-3 record, a 5.04 ERA, 73 strikeouts in 91 innings pitched. We will be looking closer at Webster in a subsequent post. Alex Castellenos had a .322 batting average in 32 games with the Lookouts after being acquired in the Rafael Furcal trade. Nathan Eovaldi pitched in 103 innings in Tennessee and finished with a 6-5 record and a 2.62 ERA before being called up to the Dodgers later in the year.
Other Dodgers like Kenley Jansen and Jerry Sands also played for Chattanooga. Sands played in 68 games for the Lookouts in 2010 before being promoted to AAA in 2011. He hit .270 with 17 homeruns and 47 RBI as a Lookout.
As I was reading about the Lookouts, I came across an interesting story about a young woman named Jackie Mitchell. Mitchell has been called “the girl who struck out Babe Ruth.” On March 28, 1931, 17-year old Mitchell was signed by the Chattanooga Lookouts after she impressed the then owner Joe Engel with her pitching prowess while she played for a woman’s team in Chattanooga. The left-handed pitcher was taught how to pitch a “drop ball” from Dazzy Vance her next door neighbor and future Brooklyn Dodger who was a minor leaguer at the time. On April 2, 1931 The Yankees played the Lookouts in an exhibition game. Jackie Mitchell was brought into pitch in relief for the starting pitcher. She had to face both Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, who were the number three and cleanup hitters in the Yankees lineup. She then dazzled the crowd by striking out both Ruth and Gehrig consecutively. Unfortunately a few days later the then commissioner Kennesaw Mountain Landis voided Jackie’s contract with the Lookouts citing that baseball was “too strenuous” for women to play. Jackie continued to pitch on other teams. Major League Baseball would formally ban the signing of women to contracts on June 21, 1952. The ban lasted until 1992 when Carey Schueler was drafted by the Chicago White Sox for the 1993 season.
The Lookouts finished with a 77-62 season last year, and they reached the playoffs by clinching the second half division title.
Here is the official Chattanooga Lookouts website where you can check out their schedule and roster. We will check back with the Lookouts along with the Great Lake Loons and the other Dodgers minor league affiliates throughout the season.