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Catfish Hunter

Catfish Hunter

Position(s):
P, 1B
Nicknames:
Jim
Born:
April 8, 1946
Bats:
Right
Throws:
Right
Height:
6'
Weight:
190 lbs
Major League Debut:
5-13-1965 with KC1
Allstar Selections:
1974 CY, 1974 TSN
Hall of Fame:
1987

Intro

Jim "Carfish" Hunter was a high school star who almost lost his chance at the big leagues when he shot part of his foot off in a hunting accident. In 1968 he threw a perfect game for Oakland, and he won 20 games five straight times. A durable staff workhorse, Hunter pitched a decade without missing a start. Despite winning just 40 games after the age of 30, Hunter was named to the Hall of Fame in 1987.

Unform Number

#27 (1965-1974), #29 (1975-1979)

Replaced By

Hunter was in and out of the Yankee rotation in 1979, suffering from arm troubles all season. Jim Beattie picked up most of his starts when Hunter was out.

Best Season

Hunter posted a 21-7 mark with a 2.04 ERA in 37 starts. He surrendered exactly 200 hits in 295 1/3 innings, and hurled five shutouts. Right-handed batters hit .173 against him, while lefties hit .208. He was 5-0 in July, with a 1.40 ERA in six starts. Of his 37 starts, 30 were quality starts (at least six innings and three or fewer earned runs).

Factoid 1

Catfish Hunter is the only starting pitcher to be in the rotation for two teams that won three straight pennants: the 1972-1974 A's, and the 1976-1978 Yanks.

Transition

June 8, 1964: Signed by the Kansas City Athletics as an amateur free agent; December 16, 1974: Granted Free Agency; December 31, 1974: Signed as a Free Agent with the New York Yankees.

Strengths

Hunter performed brilliantly late in the season. His career ERA in August and September was 2.93, well below his career ERA in the other months (3.43).

Weaknesses

Hunter twice led the AL in home runs allowed.

Feats

On May 8, 1968 against Minnesota, Hunter pitched the AL's first regular-season perfect game in 46 years.

American League Pitching Leaders (1967-1976)

Wins Catfish Hunter... 184 Mickey Lolich... 155 Jim Palmer... 154 Wilbur Wood... 146 Luis Tiant... 146 ERA (min. 1,500 IP) Jim Palmer... 2.49 Bert Blyleven... 2.80 Vida Blue... 2.80 Gaylord Perry... 2.83 Wilbur Wood... 2.93 Mel Stottlemyre... 2.96 Catfish Hunter... 2.99 Games Started Catfish Hunter .. 370 Mickey Lolich... 338 Joe Coleman... 321 Jim Kaat... 301 Fritz Peterson... 298 WHIP* (min. 1,500 IP) Catfish Hunter... 9.87 Gaylord Perry... 9.92 Jim Palmer... 10.2 Vida Blue... 10.2 Bert Blyleven... 10.3 *WHIP = walks plus hits, divided by innings, multiplied by nine. Represents the number of runners the pitcher allows via hit or walk per nine innings.

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