Jim Kaat had quite a career in baseball. Kaat is one of the newest inductees to the Baseball Hall of Fame, who also had an award-worthy broadcasting career. He’s been a regular presence in the booth for both the Minnesota Twins and MLB Network. After four decades of calling games, the 83-year-old will retire from the broadcast booth.
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) August 18, 2022
The Twins icon got his first taste of broadcasting by accident. When Kaat was with the Philadelphia Phillies, broadcasters Harry Kalas and Richie Ashburn got players to come up to the booth to share stories. But, it wasn’t until 1981 that he got his first break in the booth. He called Triple-A games with Ralph Kiner and Warner Fusselle during the strike.
When Katt retired following the 1983 season, he was the Cincinnati Reds pitching coach before his broadcast gig in the booth for the Twins. He was with the team when they won their last World Series championship in 1991. From 1995-2006, Kaat is best known for his work as an analyst with the New York Yankees. He also covered other events, including the World Baseball Classic and Summer Olympics.
In his career, Kaat originally signed with the Washington Senators in 1957. The southpaw worked quickly through the minor leagues before debuting with Washington two years later as a 20-year-old. From there on, he became a regular in the Twin’s rotation, but that’s not all. Kaat put up an American League-best five shutouts in 1962.
He recorded three-20 win seasons as a starter and took the Twins to the 1965 World Series. He started in Games 2, 5 and 7 of the Fall Classic against the eventual winners, the Los Angeles Dodgers. Kaat led the American League the following season with 25 wins in 1966. He also led with 19 complete games, finishing fifth in voting for the AL MVP Award. Plus, Kaat had 14 seasons of 200 innings or more, twice surpassing the 300 mark in 1966 and in 1975.