Friday, January 11, 2013

1960 TOPPS JIM KAAT

PITCHED FOR A QUARTER OF A CENTURY IN THE MAJORS. WOW.


19 K'S IN A GAME IS IMPRESSIVE IN ANY LEAGUE.


THE FRONT PAGE

  • Picked up this awfully sweet rookie card of Jim Kaat at last weekend's show. 
  • Don't know if Kaat had nine lives on the diamond, but he certainly had one long major-league journey, a four-decade 25-year stay in the bigs with five teams.
  • He won 283 games, had a 3.45 ERA and struck out 2,461 batters, 34th all-time.
  • Kaat was a 16-time Gold Glove winner, a record for a pitcher broken by Greg Maddux, who was an 18-time winner.
  • He is not in the Hall of Fame.

THE BACK PAGE

  • Weird little cartoon about Kaat's 19K game in the minors, where he was quite the strikeout pitcher.
  • "Big Jim can fire the ball like a rifle bullet.'' Reminds of the Bruce Springsteen lyric in Glory Days: "He could throw that speed ball by you ..." 
  • Disappointed there's no reference to his nickname "Kitty,'' but maybe he wasn't anointed yet.

PHOTO PLAY

  • Looks like one determined lefty.

EXTRA, EXTRA

  • In '65, he won 18 games and helped pitch the Twins to the pennant, where they met the Dodgers in the World Series.
  • Opposed Sandy Koufax three times in the seven-game series, which the Dodgers won. Kaat got the best of Koufax in Game 2 with a complete-game 5-1 victory. Koufax won Games 5 and 7 with shutouts, the clincher, 2-0.
  • Koufax skinned the Kaat the next year, too, this time for the Cy Young in the final year the award would be given to only one pitcher. Kaat went 25-13 with a 2.75 ERA; Koufax 27-9, 1.73. Tough to beat the king.
  • When Kaat retired in '83, he had pitched the most seasons in major-league history. He would fall to third all-time behind Nolan Ryan (27) and Tommy John (26).
  • Ryan and Kaat share the record of playing during the administrations of seven presidents. Can you name the seven presidents during Kaat's career?* 
  • Kaat never got more than 30 percent of the writers' vote during his 15 years on the Hall of Fame ballot, the last in '03.
  • His highest Veterans Committee vote total was 62.5 percent last year, with 75 percent needed for election. He will be considered again by the Veterans Committee next year.
  • "I wasn't Secretariat,'' Kaat said in 2011. "I was that No. 3 horse that could go to the post every week and get a check for you. I wasn't a dominant pitcher or a perennial All-Star. I don't say that to be overly modest. I've just looked at my career pretty objectively. I lived in the Hall of Enjoyment for 25 seasons and you can't beat that.'' 
  • Well said.
  • One of the better hitting pitchers with 16 home runs and 106 RBI.
  • After retirement became a skilled broadcaster, calling games for the Yankees, Twins, NBC, CBS, ESPN and MLB Network.

*Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.



KITTY CAN SCRATCH A NICE AUTOGRAPH.

1 comment:

  1. He looks like that one young actor. The blonde guy who was on the most recent season of Breaking Bad and Observe and Report.

    Ooh, found him:
    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0687146/

    Funny guy. Kaat is probably a better pitcher.

    ReplyDelete