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Habersham County Historical Markers

Home of Johnny Mize “The Big Cat”


  • Source: David Seibert
  • Marker: Home of Johnny Mize “The Big Cat”
  • Location: Corner of Georgia and Oak Streets, 1 block east of US 441 Bus., Demorest

HOME OF JOHNNY MIZE “The Big Cat”

National Baseball Hall of Fame member John Robert Mize was born in this house in 1913. While only 15 years old and still in high school, Mize launched his distinguished baseball career playing for Piedmont College. He began his major league career with the St. Louis Cardinals (1936-41) and played for the New York Giants (1942-43 and 1946-49) with a three year interruption for service in the Navy during World War II. In 1949, he joined the New York Yankees, helping the team win five straight World Series titles. Mize was the 1952 Series MVP after hitting homers in three straight games. Johnny Mize was called “The Big Cat” for his sure-handed glove work at first base and his smooth swing. A 10-time All-Star player, he led the National League three years in total bases and four times in slugging percentage. In 1947, he hit 50 home runs while striking out only 42 times, a record that stands today (2000). His ML battling average was .312 with 359 home runs, 1,337 RBIs and 2,011 hits in 1,884 games. Mize was inducted into the Georgia Hall of Fame in 1973 and the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1981. Mize returned to live in his family home in 1974 and died in 1993. He is buried in nearby Yonah Cemetery.

068-11 ERECTED BY PIEDMONT COLLEGE 2000