Jim (Catfish) Hunter Biography

Jim (Catfish) Hunter

Age: 53

dominating right-handed pitcher of the early 1970s who was baseball's first big-money free agent; won five World Series rings with Oakland and the N.Y. Yankees; his 224 career wins includes five straight 20-victory seasons from 1971-75; pitched a perfect game against Minnesota May 8, 1968; won Cy Young Award in 1974; when A's owner Charles O. Finley failed to follow through on a payment to an insurance company, he became a free agent after the 1974 season and signed a five-year, $3.75 million contract with the Yankees; led A.L. with 30 complete games in 1975; eight-time All-Star; elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1987; his nickname was concocted by Finley and was based on a story he made up about Hunter returning from a fishing trip as a child with catfish slung over his shoulder—Hunter played along thinking it would never stick. Hunter was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease in September 1998.

Died: Hertford, N.C., September 9, 1999

Basil Cardinal HumeG - LMax Hunter
1999 Deaths: G - L