I've been an A's fan for as long as I can remember. My older brother introduced me to baseball and took me to games on a regular basis. Growing up in the Bay Area, you were either a fan of the A's or a fan of the Giants. Anyone else didn't matter. For whatever reason, we attended A's games 95% of the time and so that's where my love for Finley's green, white, and gold originated.
This new series will focus on my favorite current and former Athletics. I'll include cards from my A's PC, which include autographs, memorabilia cards, and rookie cards.
First up.... Jim "Catfish" Hunter. I'll be honest... I can't remember ever watching Hunter pitch. But I remember hearing stories about his ability to win big games for the A's (his postseason record with the A's was an amazing 7-2 with a 2.57 ERA) and of course his perfect game against the Twins in 1968.
He pitched for the Athletics for 10 seasons. In that time, he won 161 regular season games, had a 3.13 ERA, and made the all-star team 6 times (2 more times w/ the Yankees). He also won the Cy Young award in his final season with the A's (1974). That year he led the league in wins, ERA, and WHIP.
The following year, Hunter became the highest paid pitcher in baseball when he signed with the New York Yankees. Luckily, I was only 3 years old at the time, so I didn't have any anger towards his move from the green & gold to Yankee pinstripes.
In 1987 he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. He chose to have no team insignia on his HOF plaque, because he wanted to be remembered for his accomplishments as both a Yankee and an Athletic. Three years later, the A's retired Hunter's number (27).
On September 9th, 1999 Jim "Catfish" Hunter passed away at the age of 53. Although eleven years have passed, Mr. Hunter's contributions to the Oakland A's will always be remembered.
Question of the day: Do you collect anyone who played before you were born? If so... who and why?