One of the grislier legends on our site involves former
In a 5 August 2014 Huffpost Live interview Mitchell's former teammate, Mets outfielder Darryl Strawberry, was asked about this legend and responded by affirming that "Kevin Mitchell did do that." This admission prompted the Huffington Post and a number of other media sites to proclaim that Strawberry had "confirmed one of baseball's most disturbing urban legends," and that in turn prompted a number of readers to insist that we upgrade the status of our article on the subject to "True."
To that latter point we say, "Whoa, not so fast ..."
Chalking this legend up as a true tale is quite a leap of faith, because all the information behind it stems from a single source: another of Mitchell's teammates, former Mets pitcher Dwight ("Doc") Gooden, who related the story in his 1999 memoir Heat. Compounding the problematic
issue that this is a single-source tale is the fact that Gooden's memoirs were co-written (by Bob Klapisch), and there's no telling how much of what was published in that book actually came from Gooden and how much was the product of his
"But wait," you say, "didn't Darryl Strawberry just provide the confirmation you maintain is lacking?"
The big problem here is that Darryl Strawberry couldn't have any first-hand knowledge of the subject, as he didn't witness the alleged cat-killing incident — Gooden didn't say Strawberry was present at the scene, and Strawberry has never claimed that he was. Strawberry was, at best, repeating something he picked up from someone else, and his response to an interviewer's question reflected that distance and was therefore less than convincing: He said that the tale was "a pretty good story," that "I think [it's] pretty accurate," and "I guess [Mitchell] figured that the girlfriend was acting a little