Tuesday, March 8, 2016
no. 509 - jim grant
Who is the man: Jim "Mudcat" Grant enjoyed his most productive season as a relief pitcher in 1970. He appeared in 80 games (no starts), saved 24, and recorded a 1.82 ERA.
Can ya dig it: Thanks to good timing, Topps was able to sneak in a card of Grant as a Pittsburgh Pirate. He was dealt from Oakland to Pittsburgh in mid-September 1970. Then, in August 1971, the A's purchased Grant back from the Pirates.
Right on: This was part of the first '71s I traded for in a deal with a friend (this is an upgraded version). I didn't fully appreciate Grant's mutton chops at the time.
You see that cat Grant is a bad mother: Grant pitched two victories in the 1965 World Series for the Twins -- both complete-game victories -- and in one of the games, he hit a three-run home run.
Shut your mouth: Grant wrote a book in 2005 called "12 Black Aces," which covered the 12 black pitchers who had won 20 games in a season at that time (they are: Grant, Vida Blue, Al Downing, Bob Gibson, Dwight Gooden, Fergie Jenkins, Sam Jones, Don Newcombe, Mike Norris, J.R. Richard, Dave Stewart and Earl Wilson). The group organized formally, partly in a bid to help develop more African-American players.
No one understands him but his woman: Grant received his nickname in an Indians tryout camp. A fellow camper and future minor leaguer, Leroy Bartow Irby, decided Grant was from Mississippi (he was actually born in Florida) and decided to call him "mudcat."
(A word about the back): That is one righteous stat line for 1970.