Monday, December 23, 2013

no. 245 - jim kaat

Who is the man: Jim Kaat won 14 games for the Twins for the second straight year in 1970 and won the eighth of his 16 straight Gold Gloves.

Can ya dig it: I'd say you don't see those old-style overhangs in ballparks anymore, but there is one at the ballpark where I live.

Right on: Kaat was featured in essentially the same pose on consecutive cards for Topps from 1968-71.

You see this cat Kaat is a bad mother: "Cat Kaat." Heh. ... When the Twins fired pitching coach Johnny Sain in 1966, Kaat, who had won 25 games under Sain, protested the firing in an open letter in a Minnesota paper. Then Kaat bought a Great Dane, which he named "Prince Johnny Sain."

Shut your mouth: When Kaat's father caught him trying to avoid lawn-mowing chores, he told him: "You can't make a living playing pro ball. You have to learn to work." Kaat played pro ball for 27 years.

No one understands him but his woman: Kaat was the oldest player in baseball in both 1979 and 1983.

(A word about the back): All these years later, Kaat is still the biggest winner in Twins history with 190 total victories.


  1. He was the oldest player in the AL in 1979 and 1983. He never was the oldest player in baseball as long as Gaylord Perry was around.

    1. According to baseball-reference, he was the oldest player in the AL in 1979 and the oldest player in the NL in 1983.

  2. I'm wondering then why he wasn't also the oldest player from 1980-82. Did some old-timer re-enter the majors for 3 years?

    (I hope that ridiculous novelty act Minoso wasn't the reason.)

    1. Here's the rundown:

      AL: Minoso, Perry, Kaat
      NL: Davalillo, McCovey, Mota, Kaat

      NL: Perry, Kaat, Niekro

      NL: Mota, Kaat, Niekro

    2. I might have mentioned this before in other post on other sites but the structure in the overhang in the background is not part of the tinker field (the Twins then Spring home) but the outside of Orlando's Citrus Bowl.

    3. Actually went to a minor league game at Tinker Field in '93. Highlight was seeing a guy homer over the RF fence, ball hits the side of the Citrus Bowl and bounces back onto the field.

  3. I feel like the oldest blogger around. I did not know he was such a great fielder. His dad was right you know. You can't make a living playing ball. Well, he was right for about 99.9% of the people who play ball.

  4. From 9/5/67 to 9/22/67 Kaat pitched 45.1 innings and gave up one walk. He went 5-0 in that stretch. What Yaz was to the Red Sox, Kaat was to the Twins - bad-ass.