Wednesday, May 21, 2014

#709-710 In Action Jim Kaat

The bastion hurler of the first 15 years of Twins existence…Holds the Twins team record for Wins with 189…consistent averaged 16 wins over a 13 year stretch …Started in the original Washington Senator franchise….Once in Minnesota became a mainstay…Started 3 games in the 1965 World Series including the deciding game seven pitcher’s duel with Sandy Koufax…Came out on the short end of a 2-0 loss….Should have won a AL Cy Young award in 1966, leading the circuit in wins (25), innings, games started, complete games, least walks per 9 innings….problem was 1966 Cy Young covered both leagues and there again this guy named Koufax in the way…Next the year the award was given to pitchers in each league… coincidence?….Could do so many things well…won 15 consecutive gold glove award… A gamer....Good hitter for a pitcher, had .289 average in his injury shorten 1972…tremendous start that year going 10-2 in 15 starts and could have easily reached the 20 win plateau…revered in Minnesota fandom, but was somewhat mistreated by the franchise possibly because he was player’s union representative…inexplicably did not pitch in the 1969 playoff when the first two games were incredibly tight….equally perplexing was being put on waiver in mid season 1973 after winning 11…quickly and intelligently picked up by the White Sox…responded by two consecutive 20 wins seasons in 1974 and 75....Nice move Calvin!…A bargain!...moved on to the Phillies where he was resourceful…was 8-2 before the midseason break by virtue of a quick pitch that he before batters were dug in…after a few years made stops in NY and St. Louis as situational bullpen with a few spot starts…appeared in 63 games in the Cards 1982…got his only world series championship ring that year… incredible longevity 25 years…Note:  Card #714 show one of five career stolen bases…rare footage.



In Action Photo:  Looks like the same Twins-Yankee game in Gene Michael’s photo.  On back side, the right profile of some guy who played for the Mets.



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