Grant in 2011.
August 13, 1935 |
|April 17, 1958, for the Cleveland Indians|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 29, 1971, for the Oakland Athletics|
|Earned run average||3.63|
|Career highlights and awards|
James Timothy "Mudcat" Grant (born August 13, 1935 in Lacoochee, Florida) is a former Major League Baseball pitcher who played for the Cleveland Indians (1958–64), Minnesota Twins (1964–67), Los Angeles Dodgers (1968), Montreal Expos (1969), St. Louis Cardinals (1969), Oakland Athletics (1970 and 1971) and Pittsburgh Pirates (1970–71). He was named to the 1963 and 1965 American League All-Star Teams.
In 1965, he was the first black pitcher to win 20 games in a season in the American League and the first black pitcher to win a World Series game for the American League. He pitched two complete game World Series victories in 1965, hitting a three-run home run in game 6, and was named The Sporting News American League Pitcher of the Year.
Grant signed with the Cleveland Indians in 1954 as an amateur free agent and made his big league debut with the Indians in 1958. His best season in Cleveland was in 1961 when he had a won-loss record of 15-9 and a 3.86 earned run average. In June 1964, he was traded to the Minnesota Twins and had a record of 11-9 for the remainder of the season. In 1965 Grant had the best year of his career. He was 21-7 for the Twins, helping to lead the team to the 1965 World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. In 1965, Grant hosted a local Minneapolis variety television program, The Jim Grant Show, where he sang and danced.
He finished 6th in voting for the 1965 American League MVP for leading the League in Wins, Won-Loss % (.750), Shutouts (6) and Home Runs Allowed (34). He also started 39 Games, had 14 Complete Games, 270 ⅓ Innings Pitched, 252 Hits Allowed, 107 Runs Allowed, 99 Earned Runs Allowed, 61 Walks, 142 Strikeouts, 8 Wild Pitches, 1,095 Batters Faced, 2 Intentional Walks and a 3.30 ERA. Grant's home run in the 6th game of the 1965 World Series was only the second by an American League pitcher during a World Series game.
1966 was Grant's last year as a full-time starting pitcher. He spent his next five seasons in baseball as a reliever and occasional starter for five different big league clubs. He currently ranks 46th on the MLB Career Home Runs Allowed List (292).
In 14 years, he had a 145-119 Win–Loss record, 571 Games, 293 Games Started, 89 Complete Games, 18 Shutouts, 160 Games Finished, 53 Saves, 2,442 Innings Pitched, 2,292 Hits Allowed, 1,105 Runs Allowed, 985 Earned Runs Allowed, 292 Home Runs Allowed, 849 Walks, 1,267 Strikeouts, 33 Hit Batsmen, 60 Wild Pitches, 10,293 Batters Faced, 59 Intentional Walks, 3 Balks and a 3.63 ERA. Grant's home run during Game 6 of the 1965 World Series was the only one he hit that season and one of only seven he hit in his entire career.
After his playing career ended, Grant worked for the North American Softball League, one of three Men's Professional Softball Leagues active in the pro softball era. He later worked as a broadcaster and executive for the Indians, and also as a broadcaster for the Athletics.
In recent years, Grant has dedicated himself to studying and promoting the history of blacks in baseball. On his official website, Grant pays tribute to the fifteen black pitchers (including himself) who have won 20 games in a season. The "15 Black Aces" are: Vida Blue, Al Downing, Bob Gibson, Dwight Gooden, Grant, Ferguson Jenkins, Sad Sam Jones, Don Newcombe, Mike Norris, David Price, J. R. Richard, C.C. Sabathia, Dave Stewart, Dontrelle Willis, and Earl Wilson. In 2006, Grant released his long-awaited book, The Black Aces, Baseball's Only black Twenty-Game Winners, featuring chapters on each of the black pitchers to have at least one twenty win season, and also featuring Negro League players that Mudcat felt would have been 20 game winners if they were allowed to play. The book was featured in the Hall of Fame during Induction Weekend 2006, and in February 2007 President Bush honored Mudcat and fellow Aces, Ferguson Jenkins, Dontrelle Willis and Mike Norris, and the publication of the book at a ceremony at the White House.
On April 14, 2008, he threw out the ceremonial opening pitch at Progressive Field to commemorate the 50th anniversary of his major league debut. Mudcat was also awarded the key to the city to honor the occasion.
- List of Major League Baseball all-time saves leaders
- List of Major League Baseball annual wins leaders
- Reichler, Joe (8 July 1963). "NL is 6-5 choice in All-Star Game". Lundington Daily News. p. 6. Retrieved 7 June 2010.
- Wancho, Joseph. "Mudcat Grant". Society for American Baseball Research. Retrieved 26 March 2016.