|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.
- Looks like one determined lefty.
- 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.