|Given Name: James Timothy
RHP 1958-71 Indians , Twins, Dodgers, Expos, Cardinals, A
Mudcat Grant's Teams1958 Cleveland Indians1959 Cleveland Indians1960
Cleveland Indians1961 Cleveland Indians1962 Cleveland Indians1963
Cleveland Indians1964 Cleveland Indians1964 Minnesota Twins1965
Minnesota Twins1966 Minnesota Twins1967 Minnesota Twins1968 Los Angeles
Dodgers1969 St. Louis Cardinals1969 Montreal Expos1970 Oakland
Athletics1970 Pittsburgh Pirates1971 Pittsburgh Pirates1971 Oakland
Mudcat Grant's Teammates
Led League in w 65
All-Star in 1965
IP W-L ERA
Career 2441 145-119 3.63
League CS 2 0-0 0.00
World Series 23 2-1 2.74
Books and articles about Mudcat Grant
» The Top 100 Greatest Indians
Around the Web
» Jim Grant from baseball-reference.com
» Mudcat Grant from baseball-reference.com
» Mudcat Grant from mlb.com (02/09/02)
Colorful Mudcat Grant was not only a 14-year ML pitcher, but a
broadcaster and entertainer. He spent his first seven-plus seasons with the
Indians, compiling a 67-63 record. He then reached his pinnacle with the 1965
pennant-winning Twins, leading the AL in victories and winning percentage (21-7,
.750) and in shutouts (six). He defeated the Dodgers in the World Series opener
8-2, lost Game Four 7-2, and won Game Six 5-1, helping himself with a three-run
homer. He worked mostly in relief after his trade to the Dodgers in November of
1967, and in 1969 recorded the expansion Expos' first win. With Oakland and
Pittsburgh in 1970, he went 8-3 (1.87) with 24 saves. Sporting mutton chop
sideburns, he was the lead singer of a group called "Mudcat and the Kittens."
FROM THE BASEBALL CHRONOLOGY
» July 17, 1960: The Senators, losers of 10 straight to the Indians, sweep a
pair from the Tribe, 3–2 and 5–3. The opening win is over Mudcat Grant,
who had never lost to the Senators in 14 straight victories.
» September 9, 1961: On Whitey Ford Day at Yankee Stadium, Roger Maris hits his
56th homer, off Cleveland's Mudcat Grant, as the Yanks come from behind to win,
8–7, New York scores four in the 9th to enable Luis Arroyo to pick up his 12th
relief win in a row.
» August 28, 1962: At Yankee Stadium, Mickey Mantle connects for a 2-run shot in
the 4th off Mudcat Grant to give the Yanks a 2–1 win over the Indians.
» June 15, 1964: Cleveland sends P Jim Grant to Minnesota for P Lee
Stange and 3B/OF George Banks.
» July 15, 1964: Minnesota's Mudcat Grant tosses a 6–0 shutout against
the Senators, despite allowing 13 Nat hits. The record for most hits allowed in
a 9–inning shutout is 14, done twice before.
» May 25, 1965: Nine different Twins (5) and Red Sox (4) hit home runs, tying a
ML record. Minnesota wins the slugfest, 17–5. Boston's Gerry Moses, age 18 years
and nine months, goes into the record books when he pinch hits his first homer,
off Mudcat Grant. Moses is the youngest player to ever pinch hit a round
» September 20, 1965: Fewer fans (537) see the A's Jim "Catfish" Hunter beat
Jim "Mudcat" Grant, 8–2, in Minnesota. Both contests are makeup games.
» September 25, 1965: The Twins Mudcat Grant one hits the Senators to
win, 5–0. Don Blasingame's double in the 3rd is the only hit for Washington; it
is the 4th time that Blasingame has collected the only hit for his team.
» October 6, 1965: Minnesota's 6-run 3rd inning routs Dodger Don Drysdale,
subbing for Sandy Koufax, and sparks an 8–2 Twins win in the first game of the
World Series. Jim Grant gets the win allowing just one hit, a home run by
Ron Fairly. Mincher and Versalles homer for the Twins. Koufax sits out the
opener because it is the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur.
» October 10, 1965: In game four Don Drysdale evens the World Series with a
5-hit 7–2 win. Wes Parker and Lou Johnson hit home runs, as the Dodgers beat
» October 13, 1965: The Twins' Mudcat Grant does it all himself, hitting
a 3-run home run and pitching a 5–1 win at Minnesota to knot the World Series
with the Dodgers.
» July 4, 1967: In Minnesota, Mudcat Grant stops the Yankees to give the
Twins a 8–3 victory. Mickey Mantle drives in all three New York runs with two
» November 28, 1967: The Twins send SS Zoilo Versalles and P Jim Grant to
the Dodgers for C John Roseboro and pitchers Bob Miller and Ron Perranoski.
» October 14, 1968: In the National League expansion draft, the Expos choose 30
players, including Maury Wills, Jim Grant, Donn Clendenon, and Manny Mota.
San Diego's 30 selections include Dave Giusti, Nate Colbert, Zoilo Versalles, Al
McBean, and Clarence Gaston.
Grant a walking history lesson
Pioneering pitcher passing legacy to next generation
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
Jim Grant travels the country for clinics, and also talks
about child abuse and education. (Minnesota Twins)
MINNEAPOLIS -- In addition to being a former Major League
pitcher, Jim "Mudcat" Grant is a community activist, a public speaker, an
accomplished blues singer and a walking history lesson about African-Americans
To anyone who listens, Grant will talk about the game and the
experiences that he, his peers and pioneers went through to play baseball. There
is certainly plenty for him to discuss.
Grant was the first African-American pitcher in the American
League to win 20 games and the first to earn a World Series victory, achieving
both feats for the Twins in 1965.
"At the time you knew it was important, but you didn't know
how important it really was and really is," said Grant, who played from 1958 to
1971 with seven Major League teams -- including Minnesota from 1964 to 1967.
"It's huge with me to be the first African-American to win 20 games in the
That achievement has made him a member of "The 12 Black Aces,"
named for the dozen African-American pitchers to win 20 games. That fraternity
also includes such names as Don Newcombe, Bob Gibson, Ferguson Jenkins and
"Prizes? We have all of them," said Grant. "We have Cy Young
winners. We have Pitchers of the Year. We have World Series records. Not enough
people know that. Our accomplishments are huge."
Grant would love to see new "Aces" added to the elite list,
but at this point he'd be pleased just to see more black starting pitchers in
"The '12 Black Aces' are very important," he said. "We've only
had 12 African-Americans win 20 games in the history of baseball. It's amazing.
Now we only have about three or four black starting pitchers in the Major
Leagues. There is a dwindling of everyday black players in baseball. I am sure
if a lot of our young black people knew this, they would really play the game.
They would not let it dwindle the way it has gone today. Jackie Robinson would
be very disappointed. Larry Doby would be very disappointed."
Grant, too, is disappointed, because early African-American
players endured so much bigotry and hardship both on and off the field. At one
time or another, players in the Majors and minors had to use separate water
fountains and stay in segregated hotels, and were denied seats in taxis and
movie theaters. But, he said, no bitterness remains from those hurtful times.
"We don't hold a grudge," he said. "We had the capacity to
overcome all these indignities and insults to become terrific ballplayers. A lot
of us are Hall of Famers. A lot of us are All-Stars. It is the system that
portrayed us to be less of a people, not us, the ballplayers. We didn't let it
Grant is in the process of creating a "12 Black Aces"
traveling museum, with a book about the group also on the way. He is working
with current Twins star Torii Hunter and other players on ways to pass the
legacy to the next generations by going into the community and talking about the
game, staging clinics and signing autographs.
"We seem to have a tendency, I know in baseball, to forget the
historical part of the game," said Grant, who had a 145-119 career record. "We
have a celebration of Jackie Robinson, but a lot of the young people don't know
what it really is or what it really meant back in those days. They don't know
who Larry Doby is, and he signed right after Jackie Robinson."
Grant recently appeared with current and former players at
TwinsFest inside the Metrodome. Again he was walking history -- wearing a shirt
and hat from the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, another group with which he's
Grant, who turns 70 this August, walks with the aid of a cane
but remains very active. Based in Los Angeles, he travels the country for
baseball clinics, but also talks about such societal issues as child abuse and
"I'll be doing this until I die," he said. "I motivate my
children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren to do the same thing -- feel the
pulse of your community and see what you can do to alleviate some of the
problems that have been tagging us for a long time. Help within a community."
is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major
League Baseball or its clubs.
The Twins Hooked Whopper in Mudcat Grant Standout on Mound
Expert Jazz Musician, Too / By MAX NICHOLS TWIN CITIES, Minn.
Take James Timothy Grant to a refined gathering at a New England
estate and you will find he's the center of attraction; talking
baseball and music or teaching a 12-year-old girl to dance. Wander
into a jazz night club with this same 30-year-old man and you will
find he's the Mudcat, a swinger who can sing with the professionals
and dance with the fun-lovers. Talk with him about his poor but proud
upbringing in Lacoochee, Fla., and you will find he remembers with a
laugh that he "used to eat possum like it was a steak" as a boy. And
he remembers with a frank, direct tone that he once worked in a lumber
mill for $26 a week. Now walk out to the ball park and watch Jim Grant
pitch. He has confidence that expects to win and an arm that can
challenge a batter with a fast ball. "All my life I've had a dream,"
said Jim. That's not hard to believe after witnessing the many ways in
which this Twins' pitcher has developed his abilities and polished his
personality. On September 25, 1962, when he blanked the Senators, 5-0,
on a one-hitter, Jim became the first Negro to win 20 games in the
American League. And his dream, much loftier, was so close to reality
his eyes were bright with excitement. "It sounds impossible," said
Grant. "But I'm beginning to think I might make it. I've always wanted
to build a large house, something like an apartment house, so my
mother, brother, sisters and their families will all have a good place
Dreaming of Pay Hike
Jim was thinking of the dreams that might be realized with a World
Series check, plus a large raise for his biggest season. He was
maneuvering for position to bargain for well over a $40,000 salary
next season. That's a big jump from the $27,500 (guesstimated) Grant
made for this year. But the six-foot, 185-pound righthander feels he
has earned it as the "stopper" for the Twins in their march toward the
American League pennant. "Jim has won our big games for us all
season," said Manager Sam Mele. "He has stopped our losing streaks and
beaten the tough clubs. He's done the job that Camillo Pascual used to
do." Pascual, a 20-game winner in 1962 and 1963, did not win a game
from June 8 until September 11. And it was during those summer months
in between that Grant took charge of the Twins' fortunes every fourth
day. He pitched 252 innings in winning his first 20 victories, going
the nine-inning route 14 times. In all that time, he walked only 55
batters while striking out 131. But, as Mele said, most important were
against whom and when Grant won. He defeated contenders for 11 of
those 20 triumphs, beating Chicago four times, Baltimore three,
Cleveland three and Detroit once.
Blanked Chisox Twice
And he did it impressively, holding Chicago to two earned runs in 36
innings during those four victories. Twice he shut out the White Sox.
In September, he faced Chicago at Comiskey Park when it seemed Al
Lopez had his Sox poised to cut down the Twins' big lead. Because of
an error, Grant fell behind, 2-0, in the first inning, and it seemed
Chicago would cut the lead to four games. "A lot of pitchers might get
discouraged getting behind in a pressure game like this," said Mele.
"But when Grant came into the dugout, he said: "That¹s the last run
they will get off me." It was. Grant attacked the Sox as if he were
ahead instead of behind. The Twins won the game, 3-2, for Grant's
eighteenth victory. His next time out, he shut out Boston, 2-0, and
built the Twins' lead to nine games with only 16 to play. "I've had
five or six games that have meant a lot to us at the time," said
Grant. "I never had the job of being the 'stopper' in a pennant race
before. But I find I like it. "I feel like every time I win one of
these games, it's good for me as well as for the club. The more I win,
the better I will be at this sort of thing in the future." Grant was
the winningest pitcher In the American League at the time he was
talking. But it's the significance of his victories in a pennant race
that gives him the greatest feeling of accomplishment. Nine times he
put an end to losing ways for the Twins. Three times he was the only
pitcher to beat Cleveland in a series-saving the Twins from sweeps.
Plagued by Tendonitis
And to add a touch of drama to Jim's high in an eight-year major
league career, he had to pitch for two months with both knees wrapped
in cloth bandages because of tendonitis. Moreover, he won eight of
nine decisions during this time. Jim was born on August 13, 1935, in
Lacoochee, where he was raised. His father died when he was a boy. His
mother did housework to keep the family going. Jim went to Florida A&M
on an athletic scholarship, playing football and baseball. "I hardly
ever pitched in high school or college," Grant said. "Mostly I played
third base, because I could throw hard. I guess I have played about
everywhere. "After my second year of college, I had to drop out to
help support my mother. I guess the Cleveland organization heard about
my leaving school. I was asked to try out with the Indianapolis club
at Daytona, Fla. (in 1954):" Fred Merkle, former standout first
baseman of the New York Giants and famed for the Merkle boner, had
scouted Grant. He worked out at third base, short-stop and first base
before he pitched. "They didn't tell me where to work out," Grant
said. They just told me which diamond to go to. They were about to
release me when Merkle told them I could pitch. So I tried that and
signed as a pitcher. "They told me they would put $500 in my envelope
if I would sign. I said fine. But I guess they found out how bad I
wanted to sign. They didn't give me anything. I never got a bonus.
They were very good to me, though, and helped me. I always felt the
Cleveland organization treated me well."
Wow! $250 a Month
Just making $250 a month in minor league baseball was big money to
Grant then. Now, having been a consistent winner for several years,
Grant helps the family back in Lacoochee. "I tell my mother she
doesn't have to work any more," the Mudcat said. "But when I go down
there and surprise them, I find out she's been working. She works just
to have something to do after working so hard all of her life." In his
first year in pro baseball, 1962, Grant won 21 games and lost five for
Fargo-Moorhead in the Northern League. It wasn't until this year-only
a few hours away in the Twin Cities of Minnesota-that Grant again had
a chance to win that many games. After a 66-62 record in more than six
years at Cleveland, Jim was traded, June 15, 1969, to Minnesota for
Lee Stange, third baseman George Banks and about $80,000. He had a
12-10 record last year for the Twins-adding to a 2-3 mark at
Cleveland. "This club has the talent to go a long way," Grant said
after last season. "We just have to go down to spring training and
work on fundamentals. We gave away too many runs. But we can change
that." A good fielder and good hitter for a pitcher, Grant was
acquired partly because he is such a good all-round athlete. And he
jumped right into Mele's drills on fundamentals this spring. "I wanted
Grant in the first place because he can help himself so many ways,"
said Mele. "You can leave him in a tight game a little longer, because
he can hit. And I keep his name on my lineup card as a possible
pinch-hitter. He always has been a good fielder." In Grant's
eighteenth victory this year, at Chicago, a run was given up because a
runner was allowed to advance from first base on a ball thrown to home
plate instead of to second base. "Last year that happened nearly every
game," said Grant. "This year, I would say it has happened less than a
dozen times all season -maybe five or six. Next year, we will cut out
that five or six. Everyone has played much better this year and that
is one reason we have been winning." There were other changes. It has
been well publicized that Grant learned to throw a sharp-breaking
curve from pitching coach Johnny Sain. Previously, he had only a slow
curve that was not effective. Sain helped him improve the slow curve
as well as learn the new pitch.
Jim Credits His Tutor
And Grant never hesitated to give Sain his credit, just as he never
hesitated to give his teammates credit for scoring runs for him. "I
feel if I hold the other club to two or three runs, I am doing my
job," said Grant. "I have always given up about a hit an inning. And I
give up quite a few home runs. I think that's because my control is
good. I¹m always around the plate." But of the first 32 homers Grant
gave up while winning 20, he could remember only three that resulted
in losses for him. "Norm Cash hurt me with one in Detroit," he said,
"and so did Joe Pepitone in New York and Rocky Colavito of Cleveland.
One of the biggest reasons I have won so many games is that our club
has scored so many runs for me." In only three of his victories did
Grant have to hold the opposition to less than three runs to win.
However, in eight of his complete games he did just that, including
his shutouts. He had an earned run average of 3.37 when he was
reaching for No. 21, but he showed his pride in his pitching after a
17-5 victory at Boston.
Unhappy over Homers
"I know I won," he snapped after giving up four homers, "but I don't
have to be happy about the way I did it." Grant was at his best this
year pitching every fourth day like clockwork. Pitching with two days'
rest in the spring threw him off stride early in June. Volunteering
for a relief job late in June threw him off again. However, he was not
sorry about either. "With a chance for a championship season, you do
anything you can to help the club;" he said simply. Grant had to
shorten his stride in July to compensate for his sore knees. He
couldn't throw his weight onto his left knee, so he took a short
stride and then continued his motion for two more steps.
"My arm hurts a little on the outside of the bicep," he pointed out.
"But that is not a critical place. I don't think it will hurt my elbow
or shoulder." It didn't. Grant intends to continue his off-season work
with a jazz group in Cleveland. They are hooked professionally around
the Cleveland area. And Jim thinks he might have a post-baseball
future in entertainment. "I try not to mix it with baseball," he said.
"I want to find out if I can entertain on my own merit. But being in
baseball has helped me get started. And it would be nice to find out
while I still am in baseball." Late this season, Grant was invited
with the rest of the Twins' players for an early evening gathering at
the New England home of Jim Hovey, a professional photographer who
makes commercial movies, including the Twins' public relations films.
Jim was easily the star of the evening. His poise was impressive as he
talked with guests who knew nothing about baseball.
Fourth Shutout for Jim
The next day, he pitched his fourth shutout of the season. It was his
nineteenth victory-one step from a large share of his goal. "Now," he
said, "I can think of No. 20." That victory followed in his 5-0
one-hitter against Washington, September 25. In the World Series,
Mudcat gets his chance to bring his "apartment" dream to reality.