Tuesday, January 14, 2020

jim "catfish" hunter is in my hall of famer collection

i was first drawn to jim "catfish" hunter because of his name. he was pitching against the dodgers in game 2 of the 1977 world series, and maybe another reason i took a liking to him was that he gave up home runs to ron cey, steve yeager, and reggie smith.  i coveted his 1978 topps card the following year as my collecting began in earnest.  hunter had the last laugh, as he and the yankees beat the dodgers in 1977, and then again in 1978, with hunter picking up the win in the decisive game 6 (a game i watched in disbelief because surely 1978 was the dodgers' year after losing to the yankees the season prior).

hunter is in my hall of famer collection, although not as a yankee:
that is a 1998 donruss signature series significant signatures card.  i'm glad he signed it jim "catfish" hunter, instead of just catfish hunter.  here's the back:
the text is a little outdated now, as dallas braden also threw a perfecto as an athletic.

hunter passed away in 1999, and i am not aware of any certified autographed cards that show him in pinstripes.  that's ok with me though, because sometime in 1980, after hunter had retired, i took a liking to rickey henderson, "billy ball", and the a's in general.  to further solidify my fandom, a's pitcher matt keough made a promotional appearance in my hometown for a bank that my dad was involved with, and the angels (who had been my american league team in 1979) were playing poorly.  thus, the door opened and i actually began to collect a's cards.  it was easy back then, as there was really only topps, and i decided to collect the a's cards all the way back to 1965 because that was when jim hunter was first featured in a set.  i made good progress, too, picking up a hunter rookie card early on in the pursuit.  in the end, i lost interest (probably because of the '69 reggie), and broke the team collection in to a few player collections instead.  i was happy to have a full run of catfish hunter cards to be sure, even if topps didn't issue a 'final tribute' for him in 1980.

today, that '65 hunter rookie lies in my nearly complete attempt to build the complete set and topps finally made a 1980 card for him that sits in my final tribute collection.  now i have one more card to remind me of hunter's career and my early fandom of a dodger nemesis.

here's my hall of famer collection as its been documented so far:

babe ruth - 2003 topps tribute world series edition world series tribute relic 351/425

honus wagner - 2001 topps tribute relics

dizzy dean - 2001 topps tribute relics

bob feller - 2001 topps archives

jackie robinson - 2004 topps clubhouse collection clubhouse relics

roberto clemente - 2005 donruss greats hall of fame souvenirs relic

warren spahn - 1999 upper deck century legends epic signatures

mickey mantle - 2000 upper deck legends legendary game jerseys relic

willie mays - 1997 topps willie mays reprints autograph

al kaline - 2001 fleer greats of the game autographs

duke snider - 2003 upper deck sp authentic chirography hall of famers 144/250

hank aaron - 2004 topps originals 1979 topps all-time record holders rbi 03/32

frank robinson - 1995 upper deck autographs

harmon killebrew - 2000 upper deck legends legendary signatures

pee wee reese - 2001 topps tribute relics

jim hunter - 1998 donruss signature series significant signatures 0736/2000

rollie fingers - 2018 topps archives signature series 1978 topps buyback 1/3

reggie jackson - 2018 topps tier one tier one talent autographs 19/60

steve carlton - 2018 topps five star career year autographs

mike schmidt - 2002 topps archives autoproof 1980 topps buyback 048/147

don sutton - 2001 fleer greats of the game

tony perez - 2004 fleer national pastime 2002 fleer greats authentic autograph buyback 30/59

dave winfield - 2003 upper deck sp authentic chirography hall of famers 121/350

gary carter - 1999 fleer sports illustrated greats of the game autograph collection

paul molitor - 2016 topps museum collection archival autographs 021/125

bruce sutter - 2003 topps all-time fan favorites

jim rice - 2005 upper deck past time pennants past time signatures

andre dawson - 2000 fleer greats of the game autographs

alan trammell - 2001 fleer greats of the game autographs

pete rose* - 2018 panini flawless legendary signatures 15/25

barry bonds* - 2001 bowman heritage autographs
you can find the full list of hall of famers (and some not - yet) that i aim to include in this collection at my want list site.

*not currently a member of the hall of fame


  1. It's a shame that Catfish passed away at such a young age. This is the only MLB licensed autograph of him that I've seen. I know he has some cut signatures, food issue autographs, and a Signature Rookies autograph... but seeing him in his A's jersey on this Significant Signatures card is 10x better than any of his other cards.

    P.S. I remember rooting for Matt Keough back in the day. It'll never happen, but it'd be cool to see him on a Archives Fan Favorites autograph checklist.

  2. Fuji, Not that far fetched for Keough. There have been some pretty obscure players included in that and the Heritage issues. I know he is famous for the line, but Mario Mendoza has cycled through and is on at least his second Archives issue this past year. Mario "sub .200" Mendoza!

    I am a fan of the food issue autographs, but there is something to be said about the better known and reoccuring signature sets though. It's also getting harder to find recent quality autographs with logos, with the flood of Leaf, Panini and other non-logo offerings.