The baseball world lost a legend on Saturday with the passing of former MLB star pitcher Jim “Mudcat” Grant. He was 85 years old.
Grant began his career in Cleveland. He was traded to the Twins in 1964, a move which immediately paid dividends for Minnesota. Grant was the first Black pitcher to ever win 20 games in the American League. He did so for the Minnesota Twins in the 1965 season.
In 1965, he went 21-7 with a 3.30 ERA and six shutouts in 39 starts. Grant was instrumental in taking the Twins to the 1965 World Series against the Dodgers. The right-hander pitched three of the seven games for the Twins, winning two of them. It was a memorable series performance by the right-hander.
In his post-baseball years, Grant was an activist, author and advocate for greater Black participation in baseball. He will be sorely missed.
The entire Minnesota Twins organization is saddened by the death of former pitcher Jim “Mudcat” Grant, who passed away at the age of 85. RIP Mudcat. pic.twitter.com/C5I9Bap9Yo
— Minnesota Twins (@Twins) June 12, 2021
Minnesota released a statement to address Grant’s passing. They called the right-hander a “key part of the franchise’s early years in Minnesota.”
“The Minnesota Twins are deeply saddened by the loss of Jim ‘Mudcat’ Grant, a key part of the franchise’s early years in Minnesota and linchpin of the starting rotation on the record-setting 1965 club,” the Twins said in a statement, via Yahoo! Sports. “Though he spent just four years of his 14-year career with the Twins, Mudcat remained a beloved member of our organization well into his retirement and was a frequent visitor with fans and staff alike at TwinsFest. We send our condolences to the entire Grant family, as well as the other organizations impacted by his 60-plus years in and around the baseball world.”
During his 13-year MLB career, Jim “Mudcat” Grant 145-119 with a 3.63 ERA in 571 appearances. He played for seven teams.
We send our condolences to Grant’s family and friends during this difficult time.