Jim Kaat

James Lee Kaat (born November 7, 1938), nicknamed "Kitty", is an American former professional baseball pitcher, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Washington Senators / Minnesota Twins (19591973), Chicago White Sox (19731975), Philadelphia Phillies (19761979), New York Yankees (19791980), and St. Louis Cardinals (19801983). His 25-year career spanned four decades.

Kaat was an All-Star for three seasons and a Gold Glove winner for sixteen seasons. He was the American League (AL) leader in shutouts (5) in 1962, and the AL leader in wins (25) and complete games (19) in 1966. In addition to his 283 career wins, he has three 20-win seasons.

After a brief stint as a pitching coach for the Cincinnati Reds under former player Pete Rose, he went on to become a sportscaster and for the next 22 years called games for the New York Yankees and the Minnesota Twins. Following a brief retirement in 2006, Jim Kaat was back in the broadcast booth calling Pool D for the 2009 World Baseball Classic in Puerto Rico, called games for NESN in 2009 (as a replacement for Jerry Remy), and currently calls games for the MLB Network as of the 2018 season.[1]

He has written a best-selling book, Still Pitching, and has started a sports management company, Southpaw Enterprises, Inc., solely representing pitchers.

In 2014, Kaat appeared for the second time as a candidate on the National Baseball Hall of Fame's Golden Era Committee election ballot[2] for possible Hall of Fame consideration for 2015 which required 12 votes. He missed getting inducted in 2015 by 2 votes. None of the candidates on the ballot were elected.[3] The Committee meets and votes on ten selected candidates from the 1947 to 1972 era every three years.[4]

Jim Kaat
Jim Kaat 2013
Kaat in 2013
Born: November 7, 1938 (age 80)
Zeeland, Michigan
Batted: Left Threw: Left
MLB debut
August 2, 1959, for the Washington Senators
Last MLB appearance
July 1, 1983, for the St. Louis Cardinals
MLB statistics
Win–loss record283–237
Earned run average3.45
Career highlights and awards


Baseball career

Kaat attended Hope College in Holland, Michigan, and pitched for the Flying Dutchmen baseball team, before being signed by the Washington Senators as an amateur free agent in 1957. Kaat would spend all of 1957 and '58 in the minor leagues before breaking into the majors in 1959. After pitching in 16 games spread out over the next two seasons, Kaat became a permanent member of the pitching staff when the team moved west in 1961 to become the Minnesota Twins. On July 24, 1963 Jim Kaat threw a complete-game shutout and hit a home run for a 5–0 Twins win over the Indians.[5] The combination has only happened three times in Minnesota history and Kaat did it twice (with the second coming on October 1, 1970).[6]

On July 23, 1964, he gave up two home runs to Bert Campaneris, who was making his major league debut in the game.[7] Kaat was a member of the 1965 Twins team that won the American League pennant. He started three games in the 1965 World Series, matching up with Sandy Koufax on all three occasions, including a complete game victory in Game 2.

Jim Kaat 1965
Kaat, circa 1965

His best season was in 1966, when he won a league-leading 25 games. He finished fifth in the MVP voting and was named the American League Pitcher of the Year by The Sporting News. The National League's Sandy Koufax won the Cy Young Award by a unanimous vote; it was the last year in which only one award was given for both leagues. Although his 1967 season was somewhat of a let down after his near Cy Young in 1966 (he finished 16–13 with a 3.04 ERA), he went on a tear in September and nearly pitched the Twins to another World Series appearance – cruising to a 7–0 record with a 1.51 ERA and 65 strikeouts in 65​23 innings pitched. However another shot at a World Series title was not to be as Kaat sustained a season-ending arm injury in the third inning of the second to last game of the season and the Red Sox swept the final two games to win the American League pennant.

Kaat was an All-Star three times (1962, 1966, 1975), and won the Gold Glove Award for defensive skill a record 16 consecutive times (1962–1977). His record for career Gold Gloves by a pitcher is now second to Greg Maddux's 18. Kaat used the same baseball glove for 15 seasons.[8] Although Kaat would pitch a few games a year out of the bullpen, he was primarily a starting pitcher until 1979, when he became a relief pitcher in a season in which he split time between the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Yankees. With the Cardinals in 1982, Kaat earned his only World Series ring working in four games out of the bullpen in the 1982 World Series. In 1983 he became the last major league player to have played in the 1950s and the last "original" (pre-Twins) Washington Senator player to retire. Kaat is one of only 29 players in baseball history to date to have appeared in Major League games in four decades.

At the time of his retirement, Kaat's 25-year career was the longest of any pitcher in major league history. He is now third all-time, behind Nolan Ryan's 27 seasons and Tommy John's 26 campaigns. Kaat also set a 20th-century record by playing during the administrations of seven U.S. PresidentsDwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard M. Nixon, Gerald R. Ford, Jr., Jimmy Carter, and Ronald Reagan. This mark was equaled by Nolan Ryan when he retired after the 1993 Season – the first year of the administration of Bill Clinton. Ryan first played in the major leagues in 1966, during the Johnson administration.


Upon retirement, he served a short stint with the Cincinnati Reds as the club's pitching coach. When Pete Rose took over in 1984 as the Reds' player/manager, he made good on a promise to Kaat, his former Philadelphia Phillies teammate, and hired the former hurler for his coaching staff. Kaat would coach part of the 1984 season and all of 1985, a year in which he guided Cincinnati rookie Tom Browning to a 20–9 record. "At least I can say I had a 20-game winner every year I coached", Kaat used to joke.

Other Baseball Activities

In January 2018 Jim Kaat was hired by the Minnesota Twins as a Special Assistant.[9] Kaat's role is "to help assist Twins president Dave St. Peter in business, marketing and community initiatives."[10]

Broadcasting career

Early broadcasting career

As was stated during the television broadcast of the seventh game of the 1965 World Series, Kaat was a broadcaster on local radio in Minnesota. He also served as an analyst for Home Team Sports during the 1981 baseball strike. Following retirement, he went into sports broadcasting full-time starting out as the chief baseball correspondent for Good Morning America from 1984–85.[11]

His first stint with the Yankees was during the 1986 season, where he called around 100 games for WPIX.[12] He only lasted one season as the Yankees replaced him with Billy Martin, who was between managing stints and who was purposely brought in to second-guess Lou Piniella.[13] In between broadcasting stints for the Yankees, he spent six years (19881993) as an announcer for the Twins.[13]

In 1986, Kaat was the backup announcer for NBC Sports' coverage of baseball with Phil Stone (for the April 19 MinnesotaCalifornia contest) and Jay Randolph (the July 14 CincinnatiAtlanta contest).[13] In 1988, he covered the College World Series and the MLB playoffs and World Series for ESPN and also served as an analyst for NBC's coverage of the 1988 Summer Olympics.[11]


From 19901993, Kaat served as an analyst for CBS television, teaming with Dick Stockton and then, Greg Gumbel (for whom Kaat also called the College World Series with for CBS from 19901993) in 1993. Besides calling four American League Championship Series for CBS (1990–1993), Kaat served as a field reporter with Lesley Visser (1990–1992) and Andrea Joyce (1991) during the World Series. Kaat also covered three World Series Trophy presentations for CBS (19901992). Over the course of Game 2 of the 1992 ALCS, Kaat was stricken with a bad case of laryngitis.[14] As a result, Johnny Bench had to come over from the CBS Radio booth and finish the game with Dick Stockton as a "relief analyst."[15] There was talk that if Kaat's laryngitis did not get better, Don Drysdale was going to replace Kaat on TV for Game 3 while Bench would continue to work on CBS Radio. In 1993, he filled in for Lesley Visser until late August as CBS' primary field reporter after she suffered injuries in a bizarre jogging accident in New York City's Central Park.[16]

In 1994, he was the lead analyst on Baseball Tonight for ESPN's coverage of Major League Baseball. In 1995, he was nominated for a New York Emmy Award for "On Camera Achievement." Also in 1995, Kaat called the American League playoffs with Brent Musburger for ABC/The Baseball Network including the YankeesSeattle Mariners Division Series[11] and the American League Championship Series.

He served his second stint as an announcer for Yankees games on the MSG Network/YES Network (19952006),[13] where his straight-shooting style was much in the mode of former Yankees broadcasters Tony Kubek and Bill White. In addition, he was on the team which won the "Outstanding Live Sports Coverage – Single Program" New York Emmy for covering Dwight Gooden's no-hitter on May 14, 1996 and David Wells's perfect game on May 17, 1998.


Towards the end of his second stint with the Yankees, his workload decreased. In 2006, he only broadcast 65 games.[17] Despite his decreased work load, Kaat won another Emmy for on-air achievement in 2006.

In an on-air broadcast on September 10, 2006 with booth partner Ken Singleton, Kaat acknowledged his plan to end his broadcasting career. His final appearance in the booth was to be a YankeeRed Sox game on September 15, 2006 (Kaat was also set to throw out the first pitch). However, the game was postponed due to rain. Kaat later announced that he was going to record a special farewell message to the fans, but would not return for any additional broadcasts. However, the following day, Kaat did announce one full inning of the first game of Saturday September 16's doubleheader on Fox along with Tim McCarver and Josh Lewin. During that Fox telecast he was able to say goodbye to the Yankee fans, an opportunity that the previous night's rainout had deprived him of doing on the YES Network.

After his retirement from calling Yankees games full-time, Kaat has made several single-game appearances on various networks. Kaat made a special one-inning appearance, during the third inning, on the YES Network on June 30, 2008 during a YankeesRangers game. He also appeared live via telephone, during a Yankees–Blue Jays game on July 13, 2008, to discuss the recent death of Bobby Murcer. He joined the TBS Sunday Baseball team, for a single game on May 4, 2008.

In 2009, Kaat joined the recently launched MLB Network as a color commentator for their MLB Network Showcase series. Kaat also writes a weekly on-line blog for the Yankees (YES) Network, Kaat's Korner, and contributes video blogs and interviews regularly with national and international media outlets. One of the reasons he got back into regular broadcasting was because after his wife died, Tim McCarver and Elizabeth Schumacher, his friend and business manager, urged him to get back into the game. He also called Pool D in Puerto Rico for the 2009 World Baseball Classic games for an international feed.[18]

In 2018, Kaat rejoined the Twins organization as a special assistant.[19]

Awards and accolades

From 1997–2005, Kaat won 7 Emmy Awards for excellence in sports broadcasting:

  • 1995–96 New York Emmy Award for 'Outstanding Live Sports Coverage, Single Program, Dwight Gooden's No Hitter', Jim Kaat, Analyst, May 14, 1996, MSG Network
  • 1996–97 New York Emmy Award for 'Outstanding Live Sports Coverage, The Battle of New York: Yankees vs. Mets', New York Yankees Baseball, Jim Kaat, Announcer, June 16, 1997, MSG Network
  • 1997–98 New York Emmy Award for 'Outstanding Live Sports Coverage, Single Program, Professional; David Wells Perfect Game, New York Yankees Baseball, Jim Kaat Commentator, MSG Network
  • 1997–98 New York Emmy Award for 'Outstanding Live Sports Coverage, Series, Professional', New York Yankees Baseball, Jim Kaat, Commentator, MSG Network
  • 1999–00 New York Emmy Award for 'Outstanding Live Sports Coverage, Series', New York Yankees, Jim Kaat, Announcer, April 13, 1999, MSG Network
  • 2004–05 New York Emmy Award for 'On-camera Achievement (Sports): Analysis/Commentary in a Sportscast, Jim Kaat, YES Network;
  • 2004–05 New York Emmy Award for 'Live Sports Coverage: Single Program (Professional)', New York Yankees Baseball – 2005 Opening Night, Jim Kaat, Talent, YES Network

Personal life

Jim Kaat's marriages to his first wife, Julie, and his second wife, Linda, ended in divorce. Jim Kaat's third wife, MaryAnn Kaat, died in July 2008 after 22 years of marriage. Jim Kaat created a memorial fund in her name to put lights on the baseball fields in his hometown of Zeeland, Michigan in her honor.[20] Jim and MaryAnn have 4 children and 6 grandchildren. Kaat married fourth wife, Margie, in 2009.

See also


  1. ^ Jim Kaat | MLB Network: On-Air Personalities
  2. ^ http://baseballhall.org/hall-of-fame/2015-golden-era-committee-ballot
  3. ^ National Baseball Hall of Fame, 12/8/2014, "Golden Era Announces Results" [1] Retrieved April 23, 2015
  4. ^ MLB.com, "No one elected to Hall of Fame by Golden Era Committee" [2] Retrieved April 24, 2015
  5. ^ July 24, 1963 Minnesota Twins at Cleveland Indians Box Score and Play by Play Baseball-Reference.com
  6. ^ October 1, 1970 Kansas City Royals at Minnesota Twins Play by Play and Box Score Baseball-Reference.com
  7. ^ G. Michael Green; Roger D. Launius (2010). Charlie Finley: The Outrageous Story of Baseball's Super Showman. Walker. p. 79. ISBN 978-0-8027-1745-0.
  8. ^ For The Love of a Glove, by Larry Stone, Baseball Digest, August 2004, Vol. 63, No. 8, ISSN 0005-609X
  9. ^ "Jim Kaat hired by Twins as special assistant". MLB.com. Retrieved 2019-01-30.
  10. ^ Press, Mike Berardino | Pioneer (2018-02-12). "Back with the Twins, ageless Jim Kaat offers wit, wisdom and an alternative viewpoint". Twin Cities. Retrieved 2019-01-30.
  11. ^ a b c YES Network announcer bio
  12. ^ Michael Kay and Jim Kaat to Provide Play-by-Play and Analysis, Respectively, For... NEW YORK, Jan. 15 /PRNewswire/
  13. ^ a b c d "KAAT'S MEOW. Signing off after 25 memorable years behind mike". Daily News. New York. September 10, 2006.
  14. ^ Kravitz, Bob (October 9, 1992). "NO QUARREL BY LA RUSSA WITH RULING ON WILD PITCH". Rocky Mountain News.
  15. ^ Nidetz, Steve (October 12, 1992). "Football analysts campaign for replay's return". Chicago Tribune. p. 13.
  16. ^ http://www.leadingauthorities.com/Talent/V/Visser_Lesley/Visser_Lesley.doc
  17. ^ Kaat set to broadcast final game | yankees.com: News
  18. ^ "After Time Away, Kaat Returns to Broadcasting". The New York Times. March 21, 2009. Retrieved May 6, 2010.
  19. ^ https://www.mlb.com/press-release/twins-hire-jim-kaat-as-special-assistant-264879940
  20. ^ Kaat Memorial Fund Archived 2009-04-22 at the Wayback Machine

External links

1962 Minnesota Twins season

The 1962 Minnesota Twins improved to 91–71, finishing second in the American League, five games short of the World Champion New York Yankees. 1,433,116 fans attended Twins games, the second highest total in the American League.

1963 Minnesota Twins season

The 1963 Minnesota Twins finished 91–70, third in the American League. 1,406,652 fans attended Twins games, the highest total in the American League.

1964 Minnesota Twins season

After winning 91 games the previous two seasons, the 1964 Minnesota Twins slumped to 79–83, a disappointing tie for sixth with the Cleveland Indians in the American League, 20 games behind the AL champion New York Yankees.

1966 Minnesota Twins season

The 1966 Minnesota Twins finished 89–73, second in the American League. 1,259,374 fans attended Twins games, the second highest total in the American League.

1968 Minnesota Twins season

The 1968 Minnesota Twins season was a season in American baseball. The team finished 79–83, seventh in the American League.

1973 Chicago White Sox season

The 1973 Chicago White Sox season was the team's 73rd season in the major leagues, and its 74th season overall. They finished with a record 77–85, good enough for fifth place in the American League West, 17 games behind the first-place Oakland Athletics.

1973 Minnesota Twins season

The 1973 Minnesota Twins finished 81–81, third in the American League West.

1976 Philadelphia Phillies season

The 1976 Philadelphia Phillies season was the 94th season in the history of the franchise. The Phillies won their first National League East title, as they compiled a record of 101–61, nine games ahead of the second-place Pittsburgh Pirates, and won 100 games or more for the first time in franchise history.

The Phillies lost the NLCS, 3–0 to the Cincinnati Reds. Danny Ozark managed the Phillies, as they played their home games at Veterans Stadium, where the All-Star Game was played that season.

1977 Philadelphia Phillies season

The 1977 Philadelphia Phillies season was the 95th season in the history of the franchise. The Phillies won their second consecutive National League East division title with a record of 101–61, five games over the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Phillies lost the NLCS to the Los Angeles Dodgers, three games to one. The Phillies were managed by Danny Ozark, as they played their home games at Veterans Stadium.

1978 Philadelphia Phillies season

The 1978 Philadelphia Phillies season was the 96th season in the history of the franchise. The Phillies won their third straight National League East title with a record of 90-72, a game and a half over the Pittsburgh Pirates, as the Phillies defeated the Pirates in Pittsburgh on the next to last day of the season. For the third consecutive season the Phillies came up short in the NLCS, as the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated them three games to one, as they had the previous season. The Phillies were managed by Danny Ozark and played their home games at Veterans Stadium.

College World Series on CBS

From 1988-2002, CBS Sports televised a portion of the annual College World Series.

List of College World Series broadcasters

Through 1987, the College World Series was a pure double-elimination event. The format was changed in 1988, when the tournament was divided into two four-team double-elimination brackets, with the survivors of each bracket playing in a single championship game. The single-game championship was designed for network television, with the final game on CBS on Saturday afternoon.

In 2003, the tournament returned entirely to cable television on ESPN, which had been covering all of the other games of the CWS since 1982 (and a partial schedule since 1980). The championship final became a best-of-three series between the two bracket winners, with games scheduled for Saturday, Sunday, and Monday evenings. In the results shown here, Score indicates the score of the championship game(s) only.

The following is a list of the American television networks and announcers that have broadcast the College World Series.

List of Gold Glove Award winners at pitcher

The Rawlings Gold Glove Award, usually referred to as the Gold Glove, is the award given annually to the Major League Baseball players judged to have exhibited superior individual fielding performances at each fielding position in both the National League (NL) and the American League (AL), as voted by the managers and coaches in each league. Managers are not permitted to vote for their own players. Eighteen Gold Gloves are awarded each year (with the exception of 1957, 1985, 2007 and 2018), one at each of the nine positions in each league. In 1957, the baseball glove manufacturer Rawlings created the Gold Glove Award to commemorate the best fielding performance at each position. The award was created from a glove made from gold lamé-tanned leather and affixed to a walnut base. Initially, only one Gold Glove per position was awarded to the top fielder at each position in the entire league; however, separate awards were given for the National and American Leagues beginning in 1958.Greg Maddux has won the most Gold Glove Awards among all players, including pitchers, in Major League Baseball history. He won 18 awards, all in the National League; his streak of wins was consecutive from 1990 through 2002 until interrupted by Mike Hampton in 2003. Maddux won five more awards from 2004 to 2008, after which he retired. Jim Kaat is second and held the record for most wins (16) until he was displaced by Maddux in 2007. He won 14 awards in the American League and 2 in the National League; his 16 consecutive awards is a record among winners. Bob Gibson won nine Gold Gloves with the St. Louis Cardinals, and the inaugural winner Bobby Shantz won four awards in each league, for a total of eight. Mark Langston and Mike Mussina are tied for the fifth-highest total, with seven wins each. Five-time awardees include Ron Guidry, Phil Niekro, and Kenny Rogers; Jim Palmer won four times. Gold Glove winners at pitcher who have been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame include Gibson, Palmer, and Niekro.Maddux made the most putouts in a season (39) three times in his career (1990, 1991, and 1993). The American League leader is Frank Lary, who made 32 putouts for the Detroit Tigers in 1961. Kaat is the leader in assists; he made 72 with the Minnesota Twins in 1962. The National League leader, Maddux, trails him by one (71 assists in 1996). Many pitchers have posted errorless seasons and 1.000 fielding percentages in their winning seasons; Mussina is the leader with four perfect seasons in the field. Guidry (1982–1984) and Mussina (1996–1998) both accomplished the feat in three consecutive seasons. The most double plays turned by a winning pitcher is nine, accomplished by Maddux in 2006. Four pitchers have also thrown no wild pitches in a winning season: Maddux (1997, 2006), Kaat (1975), Shantz (1961, 1962), and Rogers (2005). In contrast, the most wild pitches in a winning season is 18, by the knuckleballing Niekro. The fewest balks in a winning season is zero, achieved many times, but Maddux accomplished the feat the most time in his wins (12 balk-free seasons in 18 years). The most balks in a winning season is five, by Mike Norris in 1981 and Orel Hershiser in 1988. Langston picked off the most runners from the pitcher's mound in a winning season, with 10 in 1993; four pitchers are tied for the National League lead with 5 pickoffs. Rogers posted both the highest (100% in 2002) and lowest (0% in 2005) caught stealing percentage in a winning season. Shantz' 1961 season tied Rogers' 0% mark for lowest percentage caught, and three pitchers are tied for the National League lead (67% caught).

List of Minnesota Twins broadcasters

The Minnesota Twins baseball team have had many broadcasters in their history in Minnesota. Here is a list of the people who have been a part of bringing the Twins to the people of Minnesota.

List of Minnesota Twins team records

This is a listing of statistical records and milestone achievements of the Minnesota Twins franchise.

List of New York Yankees broadcasters

As one of the most successful clubs in Major League Baseball, the New York Yankees are also one of its oldest teams. Part of that success derives to its radio and television broadcasts that have been running beginning in 1939 when the first radio transmissions were broadcast from the old stadium, and from 1947 when television broadcasts began. They have been one of the pioneer superstation broadcasts when WPIX became a national superstation in 1978 and were the first American League team to broadcast their games on cable, both first in 1978 and later on in 1979, when Sportschannel NY (now MSG Plus) began broadcasting Yankees games to cable subscribers. Today, the team can be heard and/or seen in its gameday broadcasts during the baseball season on:

TV: YES Network or WPIX channel 11 in New York

Radio: WFAN 660AM and WFAN-FM 101.9 FM in New York; New York Yankees Radio Network; WADO 1280 AM (Spanish) (Cadena Radio Yankees)Longest serving Yankee broadcasters (all-time with 10+ years)

Phil Rizzuto (40 yrs), John Sterling (31 yrs), Mel Allen (30 yrs), Michael Kay (28 yrs), Bobby Murcer (22 yrs), Ken Singleton (23 yrs), Frank Messer (18 yrs), Bill White (18 yrs), Suzyn Waldman (15 yrs), Red Barber (13 yrs), Jim Kaat (13 yrs), Al Trautwig (12 yrs)

MLB Network Showcase

MLB Network Showcase is the title of a presentation of Major League Baseball on cable and satellite channel MLB Network (self-produced by MLB Network), that premiered on April 9, 2009. Longtime NBC Sports broadcaster Bob Costas is one of the play-by-play voices of the broadcasts. Matt Vasgersian also does play-by-play on some games. Jim Kaat, John Smoltz, and Tom Verducci provide color commentary. The network produces 26 non-exclusive live games a year during baseball season and since 2012 two League Division Series games. Since one or both teams' local TV rights holders also carry the games, the MLB Network feed is subject to local blackouts. In that event, the cities in the blacked-out markets will instead see a simulcast of another scheduled game via one team's local TV rights holder.

Major League Baseball on CBS

Major League Baseball on CBS is the branding used for broadcasts of Major League Baseball (MLB) games produced by CBS Sports, the sports division of the CBS television network in the United States.

Rawlings Gold Glove Award

The Rawlings Gold Glove Award, usually referred to as simply the Gold Glove, is the award given annually to the Major League Baseball players judged to have exhibited superior individual fielding performances at each fielding position in both the National League (NL) and the American League (AL), as voted by the managers and coaches in each league. It is also awarded to women fastpitch softball players in the National Pro Fastpitch as of 2016. Managers are not permitted to vote for their own players. Additionally, a sabermetric component provided by Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) accounts for approximately 25 percent of the vote. Eighteen Gold Gloves are awarded each year (with the exception of 1957, 1985, 2007, and 2018), one at each of the nine positions in each league. In 1957, the baseball glove manufacturer Rawlings created the Gold Glove Award to commemorate the best fielding performance at each position. The award was created from a glove made from gold lamé-tanned leather and affixed to a walnut base. Initially, only one Gold Glove per position was awarded to the top fielder at each position in Major League Baseball; however, separate awards were given for the National and American Leagues beginning in 1958.


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