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Catfish Hunter James Augustus Hunter was born on April 8 1946 in Hertford North Carolina He was the youngest of eight children born to Abbott and Millie Hunter who were sharecroppers As a boy Jim enjoyed hunting fishing and playing baseball with his brothers While attending Perquimans High School Hunter excelled in a variety of sports He was a successful linebacker and offensive end in football as well as a shortstop cleanup batter and pitcher in baseball His pitching skills brought major league baseball scouts to Hertford to see him play During his senior year of high school Hunter was injured in a hunting accident leading to the loss of his little toe and had 30 shotgun pellets lodged in his foot After the accident Hunter was somewhat limping and his major league prospects were jeopardized in the eyes of many teams However the Kansas City Athletics had faith in the young pitcher and offered Hunter a contract Charles O Finley owner of the Kansas City team gave Hunter the nickname Catfish Hunters first major league victory came on July 27 1965 in Fenway Park against the Boston Red Sox In 1966 and 1967 Hunter was named to the American League All-Star team In 1968 the Kansas City Athletics moved to Oakland and on May 8th of that year Hunter pitched the first perfect game in the American League since 1922 He continued winning more and more games and in 1974 he received the Cy Young Award and was named Pitcher of the Year by The Sporting News While with the Athletics Hunter amassed some very impressive statistics 4 years with at least 20 wins 4 World Series wins with no losses and a league leading earned run average of 249 After a contract dispute with Finley in 1974 Hunter left the Athletics for the New York Yankees When Hunter signed with the Yankees in 1975 he became the highest paid pitcher
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