Cleveland Indians mourn loss of AL’s first black 20-game winner and former pitcher Jim ‘Mudcat’ Grant

June 12th, 2021

Cleveland, OH — The Cleveland Indians organization, its players, and fans everywhere are saddened by the death of James Timothy “Mudcat” Grant, who passed away peacefully last night in Los Angeles, California. He was 85.

The Cleveland Indians family is deeply saddened by the loss of Jim “Mudcat” Grant, a true fan favorite on both the playing field and in the broadcast booth. A native of Lacoochee, FL, he joined the Indians organization at the age of 18 in 1954, made his Major League debut in 1958, and left a legacy as large as his personality. To this day, Mudcat was a cherished member of the Indians Alumni Ambassador Program. We send our condolences to the entire Grant family , as well as to his many teammates and other organizations impacted by his 60-plus years in our game,” said Bob DiBiasio, Indians SVP/Public Affairs.

Grant enjoyed a 14-year Major League career, pitching for seven different clubs. His seven seasons with the Indians was his longest tenure with one club and he compiled a record of 67-63 from 1958-1964. He earned American League All-Star honors in 1963. Mudcat finished his Major League career 145-119 with a 3.63 ERA (2242.0 IP, 985 ER) in 571 outings (293 starts). In 1965 with the Minnesota Twins, Mudcat became the first African-American pitcher to win 20 games and to win a World Series game. He would later author the book, The Black Aces, a tribute to the 15 Black pitchers who were 20-game winners in MLB.

Following his playing days, the former roommate of Larry Doby was an activist and advocate for African American participation in baseball. He held numerous roles in the game including his time in the TV Booth calling Indians games on WJW-TV with Harry Jones, as well as a member of the Indians front office as a member of the community relations department.

Jim ‘Mudcat’ Grant 2011 photo By 5of7- Flickr BB, CC BY-SA 2.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

COURTESY CLEVELAND INDIANS & MLBpressbox.com

Posted in MLB
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