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Jim "Catfish" Hunter - Signed With The Kansas City A's

team finley season game

Hunter, however, never recaptured the speed he had before the accident, and most scouts wanted nothing to do with him. The Kansas City A's, however, took a chance and signed Hunter, then sent him to a doctor, who removed more pellets from his foot.

When Hunter reported to the A's for duty, the team's owner, Charles Finley, decided that Hunter needed a nickname. Finley relied on nicknames to increase fan hype for his players. After speaking with Hunter's family, Finley came up with "Catfish" after finding out that Hunter liked catfish as a child. Hunter didn't like the moniker, yet he didn't complain, and it stuck.

During 1965, Hunter's rookie season, he compiled a record of 8 wins and 8 losses. Following the close of the 1967 season, Hunter had amassed an iffy career record of 30 wins and 36 losses. The losing A's relocated to Oakland in 1968.

The move did something for Hunter. On May 8, 1968, Hunter had a magical night. Not only did he connect with the ball four times to drive in three runs, but Hunter's pitching was unhittable. When all was said and done, Hunter had pitched a "perfect" game, meaning he had not allowed any walks, hits, or runs, and the team made no errors. No American League pitcher had tossed a perfect game in regular season play since 1922.

Suddenly, Hunter became a hero. As he improved, so did the A's, who became unstoppable. Buoyed by Hunter, the team won three consecutive World Series titles, in 1972, 1973, and 1974.

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