New-York Historical Society's Bill Shannon Dictionary of New York Sports

Van Lingle Mungo

Van Lingle Mungo (Baseball. Born, Pageland, SC, June 8, 1911; died, Pageland, SC, Feb. 12, 1985.) High-kicking, hard-throwing, and sometimes hard-drinking, righthander Van Lingle Mungo twice won 18 games (1934 and 1936) for bad Brooklyn teams. But Mungo’s temper and off-field escapades sometimes created more headlines than his pitching, although he once struck out seven in a row, matching what was then the big league record (vs. Cincinnati, June 25, 1936). Mungo also led the N.L. in strikeouts that season (238). He joined the Dodgers Sept. 9, 1931, and shut out Boston on two hits that day (he also doubled and tripled, driving in both runs). Mungo was 102-99 in his Dodgers career (1931-40) but only 1-0 in 1940. Before he could launch his announced “comeback” in 1941, he approached a dancer at a Havana hotel in spring training while somewhat drunk. The dancer’s husband objected to the unwanted attentions and fisticuffs ensued. Mungo wound up on the Dodgers’ Montreal farm club and was released, signing with the Giants. Mungo was 14-7 with the 1945 Giants but then was released as World War II ended, bringing home a flood of younger (and less troublesome) talent. In a career that ended at age 34, Mungo was 120-115 (18-16 with the Giants in 1942-43, 1945).

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The Bill Shannon Biographical Dictionary of New York Sports is an open database of sports biographies maintained by Jordan Sprechman and Marty Appel. We welcome public and scholarly contributions and suggestions.

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A prolific author, wire service sports reporter, long time Major League Baseball official scorer, football statistician, sports museum founder, theatrical agency owner and public ... read more

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