Back in the old days, long before spring training became a well-oiled, money-making machine, teams would head down south somewhere to sweat out the winter pounds and get ready for the new season. On the way home -- via train, of course -- teams would stop off in towns and cities along the way and play exhibition games.
One of those stops for the New York Yankees in 1931 came in Chattanooga, Tennessee on April 2. Joe Engel, the new president of the Double-A Lookouts, was a showman and promoter as much as a baseball guy. A few days before the Yankees arrived, he announced he had signed a 17-year-old pitcher named Jackie Mitchell.
Jackie was a girl. And she was going to pitch against the Yankees.
What happened from there is a matter of folklore.