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Our other draft pick

With the 25th pick in the 2008 Major League Baseball Special Negro Leagues Draft, the Seattle Mariners select a 3B/OF from the Chicago American Giants, John "Mule" Miles.

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John "Mule" Miles was an aircraft mechanic out of high school in Texas. The planes he worked on would later be used by the Tuskegee Airmen.  After being discovered playing sandlot baseball, he signed with the Chicago American Giants in 1946.

The Giants' legendary manager "Candy" Jim Taylor gave Miles his nickname because he "hit as hard as a mule kicks".  Miles was an outfielder with good range and a strong arm, and also played a little at third and first.

At the plate, "Mule" usually hit around his own weight - 250~270.  "I didn't hit for percentage, I hit for distance," Miles said.  "Boy when you bust it over the fence, they liked that."

Miles is most famous for hitting a HR in 11 straight games (the MLB record is 8 games held by Dale Long, Don Mattingly, and Ken Griffey Jr.) in his second year with the Giants.  He finished 1947 with a .250 average and 27 homers, a career high. 

After his Negro League career ended in 1949, Miles would be the first black player in the South Texas League.

After his playing days were over, Miles ran several semi-pro teams in the San Antonio area. He is a member of both the San Antonio Sports Hall of Fame and the Texas Black Sports Hall of Fame.

[For the record, we did kind of get the shaft since the draft order was done by alphabetical order.  At #1, the D-Backs selected Bob "Peach head" Mitchell, a pitcher from the Kansas City Monarchs who played with Satchel Paige and has been very influential in getting pension benefits extended to more Negro League players.]

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