Catfish Hunter

James "Jim" Augustus Hunter (April 8, 1946 – September 9, 1999), nicknamed "Catfish", was a professional baseball player in Major League Baseball (MLB). From 1965 to 1979, he was a pitcher for the Kansas City Athletics, Oakland Athletics, and New York Yankees. Hunter was the first pitcher since 1915 to win 200 career games by the age of 31. He is often referred to as baseball's first big-money free agent. He was a member of five World Series championship teams.

Hunter retired in 1979 after developing persistent arm problems. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1987. He was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, in his early 50s. He died of the disease about a year after his diagnosis. Hunter has been the subject of numerous popular culture references, including the Bob Dylan song "Catfish".

Catfish Hunter
Catfish Hunter headshot
Pitcher
Born: April 8, 1946
Hertford, North Carolina
Died: September 9, 1999 (aged 53)
Hertford, North Carolina
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
May 13, 1965, for the Kansas City Athletics
Last MLB appearance
September 17, 1979, for the New York Yankees
MLB statistics
Win–loss record224–166
Earned run average3.26
Strikeouts2,012
Teams
Career highlights and awards
Member of the National
Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Baseball Hall of Fame Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg
Induction1987
Vote76.27% (third ballot)

Early life

The youngest son of eight children, Hunter was born and raised in Hertford in northeast North Carolina. He grew up on a farm and excelled in a variety of sports at Perquimans County High School. He played linebacker and offensive tackle in football as well as shortstop, cleanup batter, and pitcher in baseball. His older brothers taught him to pitch,[1] and his pitching skill began to attract scouts from MLB teams to Hertford.

During his senior year in November 1963, Hunter's right foot was wounded by a brother in a hunting accident; he lost one of his toes and shotgun pellets lodged in his foot.[2] The accident left Hunter somewhat hobbled and jeopardized his prospects in the eyes of many professional scouts, but the Kansas City Athletics signed Hunter to a contract.[3] Hunter was sent to the Mayo Clinic that year so that surgeons could work on his foot. He recovered in LaPorte, Indiana at the farm of Athletics owner Charles O. Finley.[4]

Professional career

Kansas City/Oakland Athletics

Finley gave Hunter the nickname "Catfish" in 1965 because he thought his 19-year-old pitcher needed a flashy nickname.[1][2] A story circulated that Hunter's family gave him the nickname as a child when he went missing and was later found with a string of catfish; there is no truth to that explanation.[5] Hunter never played in the minor leagues and his first major league victory came on July 27, 1965 in Fenway Park against the Boston Red Sox. In 1966 and 1967, Hunter was named to the American League All-Star team.

Prior to the 1968 season, Finley moved the A's from Kansas City to Oakland. On Wednesday, May 8, against the Minnesota Twins, Hunter pitched the ninth perfect game in baseball history.[5] He became the American League's first perfect game pitcher since Charlie Robertson in 1922 (excluding Don Larsen's perfect game in the 1956 World Series), as well as the franchise's first no-hit pitcher since Bill McCahan in 1947 with what were then the Philadelphia Athletics.[2] The game was scoreless until the bottom of the seventh inning; at the plate, Hunter got three hits and drove in three of Oakland's four runs with a squeeze bunt in the seventh and a bases-loaded single in the eighth.[5]

Hunter continued to win games, and in 1974 received both The Sporting News's "Pitcher of the Year" award and the American League Cy Young Award after going 25–12 with a league leading 2.49 earned run average. The A's also won their third consecutive World Series. Hunter's statistics while he was with the Athletics were impressive: four consecutive years with at least 20 wins, and four World Series wins without a loss.[3] He had won 161 games for the A's, 131 in seven seasons in Oakland and 30 in his first three seasons in Kansas City.

Free agency

On February 11, 1974, Hunter agreed with the A's on a two-year, $200,000 contract with a clause stipulating that $50,000 payments be made to a life insurance annuity of his choosing in each of the two seasons. After Finley refused to make payment on the annuity after discovering he had to pay $25,000 in taxes which was due immediately, the breach of contract dispute was brought before an arbitration hearing on November 26, 1974.[6] Twenty days later on December 16, arbitrator Peter Seitz decided in favor of Hunter, officially making him a free agent.[1][7][8] Hunter recalled being scared after he was declared a free agent. "We don't belong to anybody", he told his wife.[1]

New York Yankees

MartinHunterGulden1979
Hunter (left) with manager Billy Martin and Brad Gulden shortly after Thurman Munson's death in 1979.

Two weeks after he won his arbitration, Hunter became the highest-paid player in baseball when he signed a five-year contract with the New York Yankees worth $3.35 million.[1][9][10][11] He had been courted by 23 of the 24 teams, including the A's but not the San Francisco Giants,[12] and refused higher offers from the San Diego Padres and the Kansas City Royals.[13] New York was closer to his home in North Carolina and the team played on natural grass.

Finley attempted to have the arbitration ruling overturned,[14] but was unsuccessful after several appeals.[15][16][17] Further details of Finley's history with Hunter gave the A's owner added negative publicity.[18] Hunter became known as baseball's "first big-money free agent".[1]

Hunter got off to a rough start going 0–3 in his first three starts, but settled down and was named to his seventh All-Star team. He led the league in wins (23) for the second year in a row, and also led the league in innings pitched (328) and complete games (30) to finish second to Jim Palmer of the Baltimore Orioles in the American League Cy Young balloting. Hunter also became only the fourth (and last) American League pitcher to win 20 games in a season for five consecutive seasons (1971–1975). The others were Walter Johnson (10), Lefty Grove (7), and Bob Feller (5).

In 1976, Hunter won 17 games, led the Yankees in complete games and innings pitched, and was again named to the All-Star team. The Yankees won three straight pennants with Hunter from 1976 to 1978. In 1976, Hunter became the fourth major league pitcher to win 200 games before the age of 31 and the only one since Walter Johnson in 1915, preceded by Cy Young and Christy Mathewson.[19] Hunter was also a competent hitter, with a career batting average of .226; in 1971 he hit .350 with 36 hits in 38 games. After the designated hitter was adopted by the American League in 1973, Hunter had only two plate appearances in his final seven seasons, with one base hit in 1973.

Arm injuries plagued Hunter beginning in 1978. In spring training, he was diagnosed with diabetes[20][21] and combined with his chronic arm trouble the disease began to sap Hunter's energy. Following the 1979 season and the end of his five-year contract, Hunter retired from baseball at age 33.[1][22] Hunter won 63 games in his five seasons with the Yankees. He retired with appearances in six World Series and with five World Series championships.[1][23]

While with the Yankees, Hunter was a resident of Norwood, New Jersey, preferring to live outside of New York City.[24]

Later life

He returned to his farm in Hertford where he grew soybeans, corn, peanuts, and cotton, and was a spokesman for diabetes awareness.[25][26][27] Hunter noticed arm weakness while hunting in the winter of 1997–1998. He was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig's disease.[1]

Hunter died at his home in Hertford in 1999 at age 53, a year after his ALS diagnosis.[1][2][23] A month before his death, Hunter fell and hit his head on concrete steps at home. He was unconscious for several days after the fall, but he had returned home from that hospitalization when he died.[28] Hunter is interred at Cedarwood Cemetery in Hertford, adjacent to the field where he played high school baseball.[29]

Legacy

OaklandRetired27
Hunter's number 27 was retired by the Oakland Athletics in 1991 [30].

Honors

Along with Billy Williams and Ray Dandridge, Hunter was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in 1987.[3] At the time, Hall of Fame officials would always defer to the player's wishes in determining which team would be memorialized on his Hall of Fame Plaque. Before and after his induction, Hunter spoke highly of his experiences with both the Athletics and Yankees and his appreciation for both team owners, Charlie Finley and George Steinbrenner. For this reason, he refused to choose a team and thus the plaque depicts him with no insignia on the cap. He was credited by Steinbrenner as the cornerstone of the Yankees in their return to championship form.[1]

In 1990, Hunter was inducted into the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame. In 2004, the Oakland Athletics began the Catfish Hunter Award.[31] His number 27 was retired by the Oakland Athletics in a pre-game ceremony on June 9, 1991, the first in the franchise's 90 years.[30][32]

The Jim "Catfish" Hunter Memorial is located in Hertford.[33] An annual softball event is held in Hertford in memory of Hunter. All proceeds from the weekend benefit ALS research. The tournament has raised over $200,000 since 1999.

On September 5, 2018, Hunter was inducted into the Oakland Athletics first Hall of Fame class, with wife, Helen, there to receive the honor.

Reception

After Hunter's death, former teammate Reggie Jackson described Hunter as a "fabulous human being. He was a man of honor. He was a man of loyalty."[34] Steinbrenner said, "We were not winning before Catfish arrived... He exemplified class and dignity and he taught us how to win."[34] Former teammate Lou Piniella said, "Catfish was a very unique guy. If you didn't know he was making that kind of money, you'd never guess it because he was humble, very reserved about being a star-type player... almost a little bit shy. But he told great stories. He had a heck of a sense of humor. When you play with guys like that, you feel blessed."[34]

Popular culture

Hunter has been the subject of multiple popular culture references. Bob Dylan wrote the song "Catfish" in 1975.[2] the song was later released by Dylan, Joe Cocker and Kinky Friedman. In 1976, Hunter was also the subject of the Bobby Hollowell song "The Catfish Kid (Ballad of Jim Hunter)", which was performed by Big Tom White and released on a 45 RPM single. Hollowell was best friends with the young Jim Hunter while they grew up together.

Hunter is mentioned in the 1976 film The Bad News Bears. When Coach Morris Buttermaker (Walter Matthau) is trying to get Amanda Whurlitzer (Tatum O'Neal) to pitch for his Little League team, Amanda makes a number of outlandish demands (such as imported jeans, modeling school and ballet lessons) as conditions for joining the team. Buttermaker asks, "Who do you think you are, Catfish Hunter?" Amanda responds by asking, "Who's he?" In the movie Grumpier Old Men, an enormous and highly prized fish is named "Catfish Hunter" by the locals. In You, Me and Dupree, Catfish Hunter is mentioned by Owen Wilson's character, Dupree, convincing an Asian orchestra student that he can pitch: "First, call me Dupree 'cause I'm your teammate. Second, so what if you're in the orchestra? So was Catfish Hunter."

Minor-league pitcher Jason Kosow portrayed Hunter in the ESPN miniseries The Bronx is Burning, which depicted the 1977 New York Yankees.

Career statistics

W L Pct ERA G GS CG SHO SV IP H ER R HR BB K WP HBP
224 166 .574 3.26 500 476 181 42 0 3449 2958 1248 1380 374 954 2012 49 49
  • 15 seasons: 1965–1979

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Berkow, Ira (September 10, 1999). "Catfish Hunter, Who Pitched in 6 World Series for A's and Yankees, Dies at 53". New York Times. Retrieved August 15, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e Coffey, Michael (2004). 27 Men Out: Baseball's Perfect Games. New York: Atria Books. pp. 118–138. ISBN 0-7434-4606-2.
  3. ^ a b c "Jim "Catfish" Hunter". State Library of North Carolina. Archived from the original on 2008-03-13. Retrieved 2008-02-28.
  4. ^ Charlie Finley: The Outrageous Story of Baseball's Super Showman, p.81, G. Michael Green and Roger D. Launius. Walker Publishing Company, New York, 2010, ISBN 978-0-8027-1745-0
  5. ^ a b c "'Catfish' spins first perfect regular AL game in 46 years". Eugene Register-Guard. Associated Press. May 9, 1968. p. 1D.
  6. ^ Turbow, Jason. "How a contract breach led Catfish Hunter to become baseball's first real free agent", Sports Illustrated, March 6, 2017.
  7. ^ "'Catfish' Hunter said winner over Finley in arbitration fight to become free agent". Montreal Gazette. UPI. December 16, 1974. p. 15.
  8. ^ "It's open season on Catfish". Toledo Blade. Associated Press. December 18, 1974. p. 39.
  9. ^ Lincicome, Bernie (September 10, 1999). "Catfish forever altered economics of sports". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. (Chicago Tribune). p. C-5.
  10. ^ "Catfish selects Yankees, Pirates offer short $ $". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. January 1, 1975. p. 43.
  11. ^ "Catfish accepts Yankee offer". Montreal Gazette. Associated Press. January 2, 1975. p. 9.
  12. ^ "Catfish narrows field". Leader-Post. Regina, Saskatchewan. Associated Press. December 28, 1974. p. 19.
  13. ^ Charlie Finley: The Outrageous Story of Baseball's Super Showman, p.217, G. Michael Green and Roger D. Launius. Walker Publishing Company, New York, 2010, ISBN 978-0-8027-1745-0
  14. ^ "Finley making moves to keep Jim Hunter". Montreal Gazette. Associated Press. January 2, 1975. p. 12.
  15. ^ "Judge upholds Hunter ruling". Milwaukee Journal. wire services. January 4, 1975. p. 13.
  16. ^ "Hunter ruling stands but Finley to appeal". Montreal Gazette. UPI. March 27, 1975. p. 41.
  17. ^ "Finley loses Hunter appeal". Miami News. August 19, 1976. p. 4C.
  18. ^ "Catfish was treated like animal". Bangor Daily News. Associated Press. January 9, 1975. p. 13.
  19. ^ "200th win for Catfish". The Hour. Norwalk, Connecticut. UPI. September 20, 1976. p. 22.
  20. ^ "A medical miracle has saved the Yanks". Edmonton Journal. Associated Press. September 28, 1978. p. E1.
  21. ^ "Diabetes strikes 'Catfish' Hunter". Edmonton Journal. Associated Press. March 2, 1978. p. C5.
  22. ^ Anderson, Dave (September 17, 1979). "Catfish Hunter: a man's man". Miami News. (New York Times). p. 2C.
  23. ^ a b "Catfish Hunter dead at age 53". Daily Times. Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Associated Press. September 10, 1999. p. B1.
  24. ^ Anderson, Dave via The New York Times. "Catfish Hunter still planning on retirement", Star-News, September 15, 1979. Accessed May 24, 2016. "He has lived in Norwood, a leafy Bergen County town less than half an hour's drive from Yankee Stadium; he has succeeded in remaining a farm boy."
  25. ^ Norris, Tim (December 12, 1988). "Control pitcher". Milwaukee Journal. p. 1D.
  26. ^ "Catfish Hunter helping diabetics". Evening News. Newburgh, New York. Associated Press. July 22, 1990. p. 2A.
  27. ^ Pabst, Georgia (July 14, 1993). "Catfish Hunter is still pitching". Milwaukee Journal. p. D2.
  28. ^ Bock, Hal (September 10, 1999). "Ace pitcher and baseball's first free-agent star". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. p. B-5.
  29. ^ "Hunter Is Buried in the Town Where He Learned Baseball". New York Times. September 13, 1999. Retrieved August 16, 2013.
  30. ^ a b "'Catfish' has number retired by Oakland". Union Democrat. Sonora, California. Associated Press. June 10, 1991. p. 2B.
  31. ^ Catfish Hunter Award (2004–present). Baseball-Almanac. Retrieved 2011-08-19.
  32. ^ "Catfish's number retired". Gadsden Times. Associated Press photo. June 10, 1991. p. B3.
  33. ^ "Perquimans County Chamber of Commerce/Visitor Center & Jim "Catfish" Hunter Museum". North Carolina Department of Commerce. Archived from the original on August 9, 2013. Retrieved August 24, 2013.
  34. ^ a b c "Catfish Hunter dead". CNNSI.com. Retrieved August 24, 2013.

External links

Achievements
Preceded by
Sandy Koufax (September 9, 1965)
Perfect game pitcher
May 8, 1968
Succeeded by
Len Barker (May 15, 1981)
Preceded by
Tom Phoebus
No-hitter pitcher
May 8, 1968
Succeeded by
George Culver
1968 Oakland Athletics season

The 1968 Oakland Athletics season was the franchise's 68th season and its first in Oakland, California. The team finished sixth in the American League with a record of 82 wins and 80 losses, placing them 21 games behind the eventual World Series champion Detroit Tigers. The Athletics' paid attendance for the season was 837,466.

The 1968 season represented a tremendous breakthrough for the Athletics organization. The campaign resulted in their first winning record since 1952, when they were still located in Philadelphia. Moreover, the Athletics' 82 wins marked a 20-win increase over the prior year's 62–99 mark. The team's young core of Jim "Catfish" Hunter, Joe Rudi, Bert Campaneris, Reggie Jackson, Sal Bando, Gene Tenace, and Rick Monday began to gel; all of these young players (with the exception of Monday, who would be traded in 1971 for pitcher Ken Holtzman) would power the Athletics' forthcoming 1970's dynasty.

1973 American League Championship Series

The 1973 American League Championship Series took place between October 6 and 11, 1973. The Oakland Athletics defeated the Baltimore Orioles, three games to two. Games 1 and 2 were played in Memorial Stadium in Baltimore; Games 3–5 were played at the Oakland Coliseum. It was the second match-up between the two teams in the ALCS.

1973 Oakland Athletics season

The 1973 Oakland Athletics season involved the A's winning their third consecutive American League West title with a record of 94 wins and 68 losses. The A's went on to defeat the Baltimore Orioles in the ALCS for their second straight AL Championship, and won the World Series in seven games over the New York Mets to take their second consecutive World Championship.

1974 American League Championship Series

The 1974 American League Championship Series was a best-of-five matchup between the East Division Champion Baltimore Orioles and the West Division Champion Oakland A's. It was a rematch of the previous year's series and third overall between the two teams. The A's beat the Orioles three games to one and received their third straight pennant in the process. They defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1974 World Series and won their third straight World Series championship.

1974 Major League Baseball season

The 1974 Major League Baseball season. The Oakland Athletics won their third consecutive World Series, defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers four games to one.

Two notable personal milestones were achieved during the 1974 season. The first came on April 8, when Hank Aaron of the Atlanta Braves blasted his 715th career home run, breaking the all-time career home run mark of 714 set by Babe Ruth. Aaron would finish his career with 755 home runs, a record that would stand until Barry Bonds broke it in 2007. The second milestone came on September 10, when the St. Louis Cardinals' Lou Brock stole his 105th base off pitcher Dick Ruthven and catcher Bob Boone of the Philadelphia Phillies. This broke the single-season stolen base record of 104, set by Maury Wills in 1962. Brock stole 118 bases, a record that would stand until 1982, when Rickey Henderson stole 130.

1974 World Series

The 1974 World Series matched the two-time defending champions Oakland Athletics against the Los Angeles Dodgers with the A's winning the Series in five games.

Rollie Fingers figured in three of the four Oakland victories, posting a win and two saves, and was honored as the Series MVP. Oakland became the first team to win three consecutive Series since the New York Yankees won five in a row between 1949 and 1953; the win secured the Athletics' status as one of the truly dominant teams of the 1970s. (The other "team of the decade," the Cincinnati Reds, would check in with consecutive Series victories in 1975 and 1976.)

The 1974 Fall Classic was the first all-California World Series. These two teams would meet again in the fall classic 14 years later in 1988.

1975 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1975 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 46th midseason exhibition between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and the National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was played on July 15, 1975, at Milwaukee County Stadium in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, home of the Milwaukee Brewers of the American League. The game resulted in a 6–3 victory for the NL.

While this was the first time that the Brewers were acting as hosts of the All-Star Game, this was not the first time the game had been played at Milwaukee County Stadium. The 1955 game had been played there when the Braves had called Milwaukee home. Thus, Milwaukee County Stadium joined Sportsman's Park in St. Louis and Shibe Park in Philadelphia as the only stadiums to host All-Star Games with two different franchises as host.

This would also be the last time Milwaukee County Stadium would host the game. When the game returned to Milwaukee in 2002, the Brewers had moved into their new home at Miller Park.

The 1975 All-Star Game saw the start of the tradition of naming honorary captains to the All-Star teams. The first honorary captains were Mickey Mantle (for the AL) and Stan Musial (for the NL).It would also mark the final All-Star Game in which only "The Star-Spangled Banner", sung this year by Glen Campbell, was performed prior to the game. Beginning the following year, "O Canada" would also be performed as part of the All-Star pregame ceremonies.

1975 New York Yankees season

The 1975 New York Yankees season was the 73rd season for the Yankees in New York, and the franchise's 75th season overall. The team finished with a record of 83–77, finishing 12 games behind the Boston Red Sox. The Yankees played at Shea Stadium due to the ongoing renovation of Yankee Stadium, which would re-open in 1976.

Bill Virdon opened the season as Yankees manager, but he was replaced on August 1 by Billy Martin. This would be the first of five stints as Yankees manager for Martin.

1976 American League Championship Series

The 1976 American League Championship Series was won by the New York Yankees, who defeated the Kansas City Royals, 3–2.

1976 New York Yankees season

The 1976 New York Yankees season was the 74th season for the Yankees in New York, and the 76th season overall for the franchise. The team finished with a record of 97–62, finishing 10½ games ahead of the Baltimore Orioles to win their first American League East title.

In the ALCS, the Yankees defeated the Kansas City Royals in 5 games. Chris Chambliss's walk-off home run in Game 5 clinched the pennant for the Yankees.

In the World Series, they were defeated in a four-game sweep by the defending champion Cincinnati Reds, marking only the second time that the Yankees had ever been swept in a World Series in their history (following the 1963 Los Angeles Dodgers).

New York was managed by Billy Martin. The Yankees returned to the newly renovated Yankee Stadium.

1978 World Series

The 1978 World Series matched the defending champions New York Yankees against the Los Angeles Dodgers in a rematch of the previous year's World Series, with the Yankees winning in six games, just like the previous year, to repeat as champions. As of 2018, it remains the most recent World Series to feature a rematch of the previous season's matchup.1978 was the first of ten consecutive years that saw ten different teams win the World Series. The Los Angeles Dodgers would break the string with a World Series win in 1988 (as they won in the 1981 World Series).

This Series had two memorable confrontations between Dodger rookie pitcher Bob Welch and the Yankees' Reggie Jackson. In Game 2, Welch struck Jackson out in the top of the ninth with two outs and the tying and go-ahead runs on base to end the game. Jackson would avenge the strikeout, when in Game 4 he singled off Welch which moved Roy White to second, from which White would score the game winning run on a Lou Piniella single to tie the series at 2-2. In Game 6, Jackson smashed a two-run homer off Welch in the seventh to increase the Yankees' lead to 7–2 and put a final "exclamation point" on the Yankees' victory to win the series.

1987 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting

Elections to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum for 1987 followed the system in place since 1978.

The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voted by mail to select from recent major league players and

elected two, Catfish Hunter and Billy Williams.

The Veterans Committee met in closed sessions to consider older major league players as well as managers, umpires, executives, and figures from the Negro Leagues.

It selected Ray Dandridge from the Negro Leagues.

Catfish Hunter's perfect game

On May 8, 1968, Jim "Catfish" Hunter of the Oakland Athletics pitched the ninth perfect game in Major League Baseball history, defeating the Minnesota Twins 4-0 at Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum.

Hunter struck out 11 batters, including the last two batters he faced: Bruce Look and pinch-hitter Rich Reese. He also struck out Harmon Killebrew all three times the two future Hall-of-Famers faced each other. Only two batters got to a three-ball count: Tony Oliva in the second inning, who reached a 3-0 count before striking out, and pinch hitter Rich Reese, who fouled off five consecutive 3-2 pitches before striking out to end the game.Hunter relied mostly on his fastball during the game, only disagreeing with catcher Jim Pagliaroni's pitch-calling decisions twice. As a measure of his appreciation for his catcher's contribution to the perfect game, Hunter rewarded Pagliaroni with a gold watch that he had inscribed on back. Only 6,298 fans showed up for the evening contest.

The perfect game was the American League's first regular season perfect game since Charlie Robertson's perfect game in 1922, as well as the first no-hitter in the Athletics' Oakland history, which was in only its 25th game after the franchise had moved from Kansas City, Missouri, its home from 1955 to 1967. Bill McCahan had pitched the Athletics' last no-hitter in 1947; the franchise was then based in Philadelphia.

One of the best hitting pitchers of his time, Hunter also helped his own cause by batting in three of the four Oakland runs. In the bottom of the seventh inning, his bunt single scored Rick Monday to break a scoreless tie. One inning later, with the Athletics leading 2-0, he singled to score Pagliaroni and Monday.

As of 2017, Hunter is the youngest pitcher to pitch a modern-era perfect game, at 22 years, 30 days old.

Kemp Wicker

Kemp Caswell Wicker (born Kemp Caswell Whicker; August 13, 1906 – June 11, 1973) was an American left-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball who played for the New York Yankees from 1936 to 1938 and the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1941. Whicker was born in Kernersville, North Carolina to Jasper Newton and Alice Crews Whicker. He played collegiately at North Carolina State University. He is most known for pitching one inning in the 1937 World Series for the Yankees. After retirement he managed in the minor leagues. He died in Kernersville of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis at age 66, the same disease that claimed his teammate Lou Gehrig and Yankee great Catfish Hunter.

List of Oakland Athletics Opening Day starting pitchers

The Oakland Athletics are a Major League Baseball (MLB) team based in Oakland, California. They play in the American League West division. The club was founded in Philadelphia in 1901, moved to Kansas City, Missouri in 1955 and relocated to Oakland in 1968. The first game of the new baseball season for a team is played on Opening Day, and being named the Opening Day starter is an honor, which is often given to the player who is expected to lead the pitching staff that season, though there are various strategic reasons why a team's best pitcher might not start on Opening Day.Since their arrival in Oakland, the A's home field has been the Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum, a multi-purpose stadium that has also been used for football, and soccer games. Commonly referred to as The Oakland Coliseum, or simply The Coliseum, it was formerly known as Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum (1966–1998, Present), Network Associates Coliseum (1998–2004) and McAfee Coliseum (2004–2008). The A's played their 1996 Opening Day game at Cashman Field in Las Vegas, Nevada while repairs at the Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum were being completed, the first time in 39 years that a major league team played in a minor-league ballpark.In Oakland, the A's have used 31 different Opening Day starting pitchers in their 51 seasons. The 31 starters have a combined Opening Day record of 16 wins, 18 losses and 17 no decisions. No decisions are only awarded to the starting pitcher if the game is won or lost after the starting pitcher has left the game or if the starting pitcher pitches fewer than five innings. Of the 17 no decisions, the A's went on to win seven and lose ten of those games, for a team record on Opening Day of 23 wins and 28 losses.Since it moved to Oakland, the team has played 36 of their Opening Day games at home: 33 at the Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum, twice in Tokyo, and once in Las Vegas. Of the 33 games played in Oakland, the A's starting pitchers have a record of 12 wins, 9 losses and 12 no decisions (the team won seven and lost six of these no decisions). The 1996 game at Las Vegas' Cashman Field was a loss for starter Carlos Reyes. The 2008 game in the Tokyo Dome was a no decision for starter Joe Blanton that ended in an A's loss. The 2012 Tokyo Dome game resulted in a no decision for starter Brandon McCarthy and a loss for the team. Overall, the team's starting pitchers' record in home games is 12–10 (with 14 no decisions).The A's have advanced to the playoffs 18 times while in Oakland, winning the American League Championship Series six times and going on to win the World Series in 1972, 1973, 1974 and 1989. In the 18 seasons that the A's advanced to the playoffs, the teams Opening Day starting pitchers have had a record of eight wins, four losses and six no decisions; the team ultimately won three and lost three of the no decisions. The team's starters won four and lost one Opening Day game in the six seasons they advanced to the World Series.Catfish Hunter was the team's first Opening Day starter after the team moved to Oakland, taking a 3–1 loss to the Baltimore Orioles at Memorial Stadium in 1968.

Oakland Athletics

The Oakland Athletics, often referred to as the A's, are an American professional baseball team based in Oakland, California. They compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the American League (AL) West division. The team plays its home games at the Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum. They have won nine World Series championships, the third-most of all current MLB teams. The 2018 season was the club's 50th while based in Oakland.

One of the American League's eight charter franchises, the team was founded in Philadelphia in 1901 as the Philadelphia Athletics. They won three World Series championships from 1910 to 1913 and back-to-back titles in 1929 and 1930. The team's owner and manager for its first 50 years was Connie Mack and Hall of Fame players included Chief Bender, Frank "Home Run" Baker, Jimmie Foxx, and Lefty Grove. The team left Philadelphia for Kansas City in 1955 and became the Kansas City Athletics before moving to Oakland in 1968. They won three consecutive World Championships between 1972 and 1974, led by players including Vida Blue, Catfish Hunter, Reggie Jackson, ace reliever Rollie Fingers, and colorful owner Charlie O. Finley. After being sold by Finley to Walter A. Haas Jr., the team won three consecutive pennants and the 1989 World Series behind the "Bash Brothers", Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire, as well as Hall of Famers Dennis Eckersley, Rickey Henderson and manager Tony La Russa.

Oakland Athletics award winners and league leaders

This is a list of award winners and league leaders for the Oakland Athletics professional baseball franchise.

The team was first known as the Philadelphia Athletics from 1901 to 1954 and then as the Kansas City Athletics from 1955 to 1967.

Roy Campanella Award

The Roy Campanella Award is given annually to the Los Angeles Dodgers player who best exemplifies the spirit and leadership of the late Hall of Fame Brooklyn Dodger catcher, Roy Campanella. The award is voted on by all Los Angeles Dodgers uniformed personnel, players, and coaches. The award has been given out since 2006.

Yankeeography

Yankeeography is a biography-style television program that chronicles the lives and careers of the players, coaches, and other notable personnel associated with the New York Yankees Major League Baseball team. The series is aired on the YES Network and is produced by MLB Productions [1]. The series is hosted by Yankees radio personality John Sterling. The series has earned five New York Sports Emmy Awards since its inception. In addition to airing on YES, MLB Productions has packaged many of the shows into DVD boxed sets.

After debuting as a weekly show with the 2002 launch of YES, Yankeeography only debuts new episodes periodically (as there are fewer prominent Yankees yet to be spotlighted). For instance, four episodes premiered in 2006: Tino Martinez, David Cone, the Yankees' 1996 World Series team, and Billy Martin. All Yankees with retired numbers have had shows completed with the exception of Bill Dickey. The show has been criticized for producing episodes on players who remain active while Hall of Famers from much earlier eras such as Jack Chesbro, Tony Lazzeri, Red Ruffing and Lefty Gomez were not profiled. Some profiles have been updated to reflect new developments.

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