Thursday, May 3, 2012
no. 45 - jim hunter
Who is the man: Jim "Catfish" Hunter had pitched six years in the major leagues by this point and had yet to win 20 games. That would all change in 1971 when he would have the first of five straight 20-win seasons.
Can ya dig it: Iconic mustachioed players from the mid-1970s always look so strange in their earlier photos. Hunter does not look like himself at all here. I'm sure I was totally taken aback when I first obtained this card. Yet, he doesn't show up with a mustache on a card until the 1973 Topps set.
Right on: Some odd cropping on this image.
You see this cat Hunter is a bad mother: Hunter was wounded in a hunting accident when he was a senior in high school. Practically blew off his foot and lost one of his toes. A lot of scouts stayed away after that, but he ended up with a Hall of Fame career. And that is bad ass.
Shut your mouth: Hunter refused to choose a team that would represent him on his Hall of Fame plaque. So his cap on his plaque has no logo.
No one understand him but his woman: Hunter lost a battle with Lou Gehrig's Disease at age 53 in 1999. During his battle with the disease, he credited his wife, Helen, for providing him constant care, dressing him and cutting his food. "Once in awhile," he said. "We sit there and cry together."
(A word about the back): Topps never did call Hunter "Catfish Hunter" on any of its cards during his career, although I think they came around on a Topps Tribute card after his death.