Tuesday, December 31, 2013

1978 Topps Baseball #55 - Mitchell Page

  • Mitchell Page was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1973. He played in the minors from 1973-1976. Page had good stats but he never got brought up to the majors. 
  • During spring training in 1977 Page was included in the trade to the Oakland A's that brought Phil Garner to the Pirates. Mitchell was given an opportunity to play and made the most of it. He finished second in AL Rookie of the Year voting and batted .307 with 21 home runs and 75 RBI in 145 games.
  • Page didn't do quite as well in 1978 but he still had a pretty good year, batting .285 with 17 HR and 70 RBI in 147 games. In his first two seasons Mitchell was the starting left fielder, but his defense was below average and he would spend the bulk of his time at DH for the rest of his career.
  • Mitchell was the main DH for the A's in 1979, but his production dropped off. Page batted .247 with 9 HR and 42 RBI in 133 games. Page had been suspended during spring training after expressing dissatisfaction with his salary.
  • The 1980 season was Page's last full season in the majors. His batting average dropped to .244, but Page hit 17 home runs and knocked in 51 runs in 110 games.
  • Page started the 1981 season with Oakland, but he was sent to AAA in early June (just before the strike). Mitchell played well in Tacoma and came back to the A's in September. Page ended up batting .141 in 34 games for Oakland in 1981.
  • In 1982 Mitchell started in Tacoma. He hit well there and was brought up to the A's in mid July. Page batted .256 with 4 HR and 7 RBI in 78 at bats for Oakland. 
  • Page stayed with the A's for the entire 1983 season in a pinch hitting and DH role. Mitchell batted .241 in 79 at bats.
  • Mitchell didn't make the Oakland club in 1984 and was released toward the end of spring training. Page signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates and spent the next few months in AAA. Mitchell was recalled in August and went 4 for 12 (.333) as a pinch hitter. That was it for his major league career. Page played in AAA in 1985 and then called it quits.
  • After his playing career Page became a hitting instructor. He had some success with the St. Louis Cardinals, but he was let go after the 2004 season because of a drinking problem. Page straightened himself out and came back as a hitting coach with the Washington Nationals and then worked for the Cardinals in 2010.
  • Mitchell died at the age of 59 in Glendale, AZ in 2011. 
  • 1978 Stats: .285, 17 HR, 70 RBI in 147 games
  • 1978 Highlights:
    • April 26 - Went 4 for 6 with a home run and 3 RBI in Oakland's 9-8 12-inning victory over the Minnesota Twins. The home run was hit in the bottom of the 9th and sent the game into extra innings.
    • May 21 - Went 4 for 4 with a home run and 5 RBI as the A's beat the Chicago White Sox 8-0.
    • Sept 8 - Went 3 for 4 with a home run and 5 RBI in Oakland's 11-4 win over the Texas Rangers.