16 June 2014

a memorial patch for catfish hunter

in 1991, the oakland a's retired uniform number 27 in honor of jim 'catfish' hunter, and sometime after that, they put a jersey on the outfield wall to recognize the number's retirement.  you can see it on rickey henderson's 1993 score select card
it shows up again on miguel tejada's 1999 fleer ultra card - a double play turn at that
so it would be fitting if that were number 27 behind randy velarde on velarde's 2000 fleer impact card (another double play turn!) because velarde is shown wearing a memorial patch for hunter, who passed away in september of 1999
alas, it is not hunter's number, but rather that of fellow hall of famer rollie fingers.

hunter joined the a's in 1965 without stopping in the minor leagues.  he struck out the first batter he ever faced in the major leagues (ken berry), and after the a's moved from kansas city to oakland in 1968, he threw a perfect game against the twins.

hunter would eventually win 161 games for the a's over 10 seasons, including four straight seasons with 20 or more wins (1971-1974), and he helped the a's win three straight world series from 1972 through 1974.  he left oakland after the 1974 season thanks to an arbitration ruling that made him a free agent, and he signed with the yankees.

following his death, the yankees also honored hunter with a memorial.  more on that later on...

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