Thursday, May 8, 2008

This Day In History - Catfish

On May 8, 1968, Jim "Catfish" Hunter had perhaps the best all-around game in major league history. Pitching for the Oakland A's, Catfish became the first American League pitcher to pitch a perfect game since 1922. Twenty-seven up, twenty-seven down. That alone would be enough to qualify as one of the best games ever. At that point in time, only nine pitchers had ever done it before. But Catfish was not content to just get batters out. At the plate, he went 3-for-4, and drove in three of the four Oakland runs. The team he shut out was no slouch. The Minnesota Twins had Rod Carew, Harmon Killebrew, and Tony Oliva in their lineup. He struck out Killebrew three times. Another oddity I found while looking at the boxscore for the game: the attendance in Oakland that night was only 6,298. It was the A's first season in Oakland, after moving from Kansas City.

Catfish died in 1999, after falling down the stairs in his home. He was suffering from ALS at the time.

Maybe I sound like an old man, but one thing lacking in today's Major League is great nicknames. Catfish was one of the alltime great nicknames. And on May 8, 1968 he had one of the alltime great games. Raise your glass to Catfish this weekend. Cheers.

1 comment:

scrodnals said...

Not only was Catfish a great nickname, but when combined with his last name, he became Catfish Hunter. Pretty sweet...