With a name like Wilmer, it’s easy to see
why Mizell would sign his autograph
using his middle name of “David.” Of
course, those who followed baseball
closely in the 1950’s knew him best as
“Vinegar Bend” Mizell, for his birthplace
of Vinegar Bend, AL.
A southpaw who posted fair numbers for
the middle-of-the-road Cardinals of the
‘50’s, Mizell gathered All-Star honors in
1959, as he posted his first winning
season of a decade that saw the him
register 68 wins for the Birds.
Mizell would move to the Pirates in time
for their 1960 World Championship over
the Yankees, before wrapping up his
career with the 120-loss, Expansion Mets
Overall he would leave the game with a
90-88 record, but there were still a few
more victories in his future.
Following his playing career, Mizell would
work in sales before throwing his hat in
the political ring in 1968. As a
Republican, Mizell would enjoy a three-
term run in Congress for the North
Carolina’s 5th District (1969-1975). He
would also serve in appointments for
both Presidents Gerald Ford and
George H.W. Bush.
However, we wonder how he was listed
on the ballots back then… Wilmer…
David… or Vinegar Bend???