1960s Baseball
Celebrating the players and teams that helped make the 1960s "Baseball's Real Golden Age."
Player Profile - Jim Kaat

 


 

 

 

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This Kitty Did It All


Jim Kaat was probably one of the most amazing all-around athletes to toe a major league pitching rubber. He pitched in the majors for 25 years, was quite possibly the best fielding pitcher ever to play the game, and was one of baseball’s best-hitting pitchers throughout his career.

He also happened to win enough games to qualify for enshrinement in Cooperstown, though at this writing he was not yet a member of the Hall of Fame.

A teenage Kaat was signed by the Washington Senators in 1957, and joined the Senators’ staff for keeps at the end of the 1960 season. (Kaat was the last member of the original Washington Senators to play in the major leagues.) He was part of the starting rotation during the team’s first year in Minnesota in 1961, going 9-17 for the Twins despite a respectable 3.90 ERA.

In 1962, Kaat went from a 17-game loser to an 18-game winner, finishing 18-14 for the Twins with a 3.14 ERA and leading the league with 5 shutouts. He won 17 games for the Twins in 1964 and 18 games as the Twins won the American League pennant in 1965. He led the league with 42 starts that year. In the 1965 World Series (won by the Los Angeles Dodgers), Kaat started 3 games, going 1-2 with a 3.77 ERA.

Kaat’s best season for the Twins came in 1966, when he went 25-13 with a 2.75 ERA. He also led the majors in starts with 41, and led the American League in complete games (19) and innings pitched (304).

Kaat won 16 games for the Twins in 1967, and 14 in each of the next 3 seasons. He would not be a 20-game winner again until 1974 and 1975, when he won 21 and 20 games respectively for the Chicago White Sox.

As a batter, Kaat often helped his own cause, hitting .185 over his career with 16 home runs and 106 RBIs. As a fielder, Kaat had no peers among pitchers, and few major leaguers at any position fielded as well as he did. He won 16 consecutive Gold Gloves (matched only by Brooks Robinson).


Looking for Jim Kaat's stats? In Hardball Bob's opinion, the best source for online statistics is Baseball-Reference.com. For Kitty's career stats, go here.


1960s Baseball … Great Players, Great Teams, Great Stories.

Re-live the pleasure of baseball the way it was meant to be played … 2-hour games with great pitching, power hitting, and no performance-enhancing chemicals.

 

Twins Heroes

Where were you when Harmon Killebrew and Bob Allison hit same-game grand slams … when Jim Kaat won 25 games and his sixth Gold Glove (and would win 10 more Gold Gloves)? 

Twins Heroes brings back the best of the 1960s Minnesota Twins.


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Twins Heroes are available now from Amazon.

 









60 From The ‘60s

Where were you when Maris blasted #61 … when Koufax tossed his fourth no-hitter, fighting through the pain that came with every pitch?

Where were you when Robbie and Yaz won back-to-back Triple Crowns? And when Denny McLain had more wins in one season than many of today’s pitchers have starts?

60 from the ‘60s brings together 60 player profiles in one volume. The 1960s were full of flat-out great players and outstanding performances. Their stories are here. Enjoy the memories!

 

Available now ...

Softcover edition: $14.99

Kindle edition: $5.99

 

Softcover and Kindle versions 
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60 From The ‘60s are available now from Amazon.