30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Awesome Athletics #1: Jim "Catfish" Hunter

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?


  1. Rusty Kuntz and Pete LaCock both retired before I was born. I think it's pretty obvious why I collect them lol.

  2. I like Jackie Robinson the most as far as guys who were retired before I was born. I'm still laughing at SpastikMooss' comment!

  3. Any Brooklyn Dodger played before I was born and I collect them all.

  4. I collect Bobby Thomson because he is a Giants legend and it doesnt hurt that he was from Scotland.

  5. I'm just starting collecting, but I have a player in mind to collect down the line, he'll also spread 2 PC's for me.

  6. I don't collect anyone that played their entire career before I was born. In basketball, I've got a few assorted Bill Russell cards from modern sets, but none of his vintage cards. I collect Dwight Evans who started his career before I was born, but had his best years in the 80s which I watched a lot of as I first started getting into baseball.

  7. Warren Spahn, he was born in Buffalo, NY and is a baseball legend. Billy Martin, because I'm a NY Yankees fan. I was featured on Seinfeld and The Bronx is Burning. He's also one of the only old time Yankees that I can actually afford some of his cards. Not the really old stuff, but later in his career. His early years would be great, but they get expensive.

  8. Stan "The Man" Musial. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame the same year I was born. (Oops...I'm dating myself.)

  9. As a Mets fan and collector, there aren't too mant players who retired before I was born. Since I also collect Yankees it's easier to find players who retired before 1968.

  10. Love the responses... especially spastik's. One of the greatest PC's on the net. By the way... Jeremy, I collect Robinson too... and talk about him with my students every year.

    Offy... you and I must be from the same era... b/c I had a strong appreciation for Evans myself.

    Charles... Billy Martin is a legend in the Bay Area too. One of these days, I'll pick up one of his autographs.

    Last but not least... 82Redbirds... one of the things at the top of my wantlist is an UDA autographed phot of Musial & Gwynn. Two of the greatest hitters of all time.