MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The Minnesota Twins announced on Saturday that former pitcher Jim “Mudcat” Grant died at the age of 85.
He spent four years with the Twins, and led the 1965 team to the World Series, where they faced off against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
He is remembered for a home run he made during the sixth game of the series; a three-run shot that led the Twins to a 5-1 victory. It was the only homer he hit that season, but it forced the series to continue even as the Twins lost the next day.
That year, he became the first Black pitcher in major league history to win 20 games in a single season.
“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,” the Twins said in a statement. “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.”
He was born in Lacoochee, Florida and began his career when he signed to play with Cleveland at the age of 18 in 1958. He spent time with seven different clubs during his career.
Later in his life, Grant worked as an activist and advocate for Black participation in baseball. In 2006, he published a book called “The Black Aces,” which chronicled the lives of the first Black 20-game winners in MLB history.
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