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Jim "Catfish" Hunter Biography

Raised On A Farm, Signed With The Kansas City A's, Earned The Cy Young AwardSELECTED WRITINGS BY HUNTER:


American baseball player

Jim "Catfish" Hunter was a master hurler whose presence on the mound struck fear in his opponents. During his 15-year baseball career, Hunter took part in eight All-Star Games, won 20 or more games five seasons in a row (1971-1975), and pitched in six World Series, coming away a winner five times.

What endeared Hunter to the hearts of his fans, however, was his gentle demeanor. Though he threw a mean fastball on the field, Hunter's aggressiveness never followed him off the mound, and no matter how bad things got for him, he never lost his temper. He was known for his kindness and modesty. When Hunter pitched a perfect game on May 8, 1968, the humble hurler wouldn't let his teammates hoist him on their shoulders in celebration. Hunter never made a big deal of this accomplishment, though he was only the 10th pitcher in baseball history to toss a perfect game.

Even when Hunter was hot on the mound and clearly contributing to his team's victory, he always maintained that baseball was a game in which all nine players on the field were needed to win. According to the book Catfish, The Three Million Dollar Pitcher, once, when reporters tried to single out Hunter following a victory, he said, "I've said this before and I'll say it again. This is a team game and I'm only a part of our team."


(With Armen Keteyian) Catfish: My Life in Baseball. McGraw-Hill Book Co., 1988.

Sketch by Lisa Frick

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Famous Sports StarsBaseball