- Category : Sports-Baseball
- Type : MGE
- Profile : 4/6 - Opportunistic / Role Model
- Definition : Split - Small (13,20,55)
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Penetration 1
American baseball player, a right-handed pitcher.
He played with the Kansas City / Oakland Athletics (1965–1974) and the New York Yankees (1975–1979).
He was the winner of 25 straight games, leading the Oakland A's to the World Series. However, a contract dispute with Oakland's club owner, Charlie Finley, led to his being a free agent in late 1974 with bidding for the services of his right arm starting at $1 million. On 12/31/1974, Catfish went from being a world championship pitcher for the Angels to signing a contract with the New York Yankees that netted him $3.75 million. His pitching with both the Oakland Athletics and New York Yankees eventually took him into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
In 1997, he disclosed that he was suffering heart trouble and that he had diabetes for the last 21 years. A longtime spokesman for the American Diabetes Foundation, he began promoting Upjohn Company's treatment for impotence, a dysfunction suffered by 35-50% of all diabetic men due to damage to the blood vessels. In November 1998 he was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease. He began to fail on 8/08/99 when he was hospitalized from a fall that put him in the hospital. He was discharged on September 3rd to spend his final days at home with his family and died on 9/09/99. He will be remembered as a fierce competitor and a class guy. One friend remarked that he was one of the most selfless role-models in the world of baseball. One of the most dominant pitchers from 1965-79, Catfish compiled a 224-166 record with a 3.26 ERA in 500 career games for the Athletics (Kansas City and Oakland) and Yankees. The durable right-hander pitched a no-hitter game against Minnesota in 1968 and was a member of five World Series winners (1972-74 with Oakland and 1977-78 with New York).
Hunter strung together five consecutive seasons with 20 or more wins from 1971-75. He won the American League Cy Young award in 1974, when he went 25-12 with a league leading 2.49 ERA in 41 starts for Oakland. That was the winter when he became baseball's first multimillionaire player.
He lived with his wife, two kids and 35 dogs on a 113-acre farm, where he grew peanuts, soybeans and turnips. His farm is in close proximity to where he was raised as the youngest of eight kids of a tenant farmer.
An estimated 30,000 Americans are afflicted with ALS, for which there is no known cure. The disease claimed Lou Gehrig in 1941 at the age of 37.
Hunter died of Lou Gehrig's Disease on 9 September 1999.