Johnny Mize Museum
Located on the campus of Piedmont College in Demorest, the Johnny Mize Athletic Center and Museum features memorabilia from the life of Baseball Hall of Fame first baseman Johnny Mize.
Mize was one of the most prolific home run hitters in the game's history. Graceful at the plate, the 6-foot-2-inch Mize was immortalized as the "Big Cat."
John Robert "Johnny" Mize was born on January 7, 1913, in Demorest. He broke into the majors on April 16, 1936, with the St. Louis Cardinals and soon became one of the most feared sluggers in the National League.
As a Cardinal, he captured home run titles in 1939 (28) and 1940 (43). Later, as a member of the New York Giants, he won two additional home run crowns: 51 in 1947 (an honor he shared with Ralph Kiner of Pittsburgh) and 40 in 1948.
Mize joined the American League's New York Yankees in 1949. As a pinch hitter and part-time first baseman, he helped lead the Yankees to five consecutive World Series titles (1949-1953). Mize retired after the 1953 campaign with 359 lifetime home runs; 2,011 hits; 1,337 runs batted in; and a .312 career batting average.
In contrast to most sluggers, especially today's long ball artists, Mize rarely struck out, fanning only 524 times over the course of his career. On six occasions, he hit three home runs in one game—a record. He was enshrined in the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 1973 and the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1981.
After living for several years in Florida, Mize moved back to Demorest in 1974, settling in his old family home. He died there on June 2, 1993, and is buried in nearby Yonah Cemetery.