Jim Kaat Bio: Family, MLB, Broadcasting & Net Worth

Imprinted in the pages of history are some of the old legendary players, and even when you recall, many of your favorites come across. Likewise, taking back to the late 1950s gameplay, I would love to cover things up for Jim Kaat.

Amidst the shining armor of one’s winning strike, buzzing of awards, we forget the chaos of longevity.

Hence, this less than perfect timing be the source to deepen Kaat’s journey as a baseball pitcher and a broadcaster. As a broadcaster, Jim Kaat featured companies such as CBS, NBC, ESPN, ABC, the MLB Network, and TBS.

Starting from the first of his professional season of 1959 in Major League Baseball (MLB), he spread his games for the whole 25 years.

Jim-Kaat
Jim Kaat

To date, he has pitched for teams such as the  Washington Senators / Minnesota Twins, Chicago White Sox, Philadelphia Phillies, New York Yankees, and St. Louis Cardinals.

Overall, he finished his career with numerous awards and went on to the coaching field. Following it, he even stood as a sportscaster, broadcaster, and writer.

Apart from his baseball career, he has written a best-selling book named Still Pitching and then started his own company called Southpaw Enterprises, Inc.

“I’ll never be considered one of the all-time greats; maybe not even one of the all-time goods. But I’m one of the all-time survivors.”
-Jim Kaat

Quick Facts about Jim Kaat

Full NameJames Lee Kaat
Popular AsJim Kaat
NicknameKitty, Jim
Date of BirthNovember 7, 1938
Birth PlaceZeeland, Michigan
Nick NameKitty
ReligionChristianity
NationalityAmerican
EthnicityWhite
Zodiac SignScorpio
Age84 years old
Height6 feet 4 inches (1.93 m)
Weight98 kg (216 lbs)
Hair ColorWhite
Eye ColorDark brown
BuildAthletic
Father’s NameHans Kaat (John)
Mother’s NameNot Available
SiblingsA brother, Phil
EducationZeeland High School
Hope College
Marital StatusMarried
WifeJulie Kaat (m. 1959-1977)
Linda Kaat (m. 1977-1987)
MaryAnn Kaat (m. 1988-2008)
Margie Kaat (m. 2009)
KidsFour children and six grandchildren
ProfessionBaseball player
PositionPitcher
AffiliationsWashington Senators / Minnesota Twins
Chicago White Sox
Philadelphia Phillies
New York Yankees
St. Louis Cardinals
Active Years1959-1983
Broadcasting affiliationsCBS, NBC, ESPN, ABC, the MLB Network, and TBS
Broadcasting years1981-2005
Social Media Presence#JimKaat (Hashtag on Twitter)
Last UpdateNovember, 2022

Jim Kaat – Body Measurements

Jim Kaat is a healthy guy who has been tall and sturdy at the height of 6 feet 4 inches (1.93 m). Additionally, Kaat weighs 98 kg (216 lbs) while he is filled with wrinkles from his aging period.

Jim Kaat – Early Life and Education

Jim (fully named James Lee Kaat) was born on November 7, 1938, under the Scorpio’s sun sign. Furthermore, he is the son of Hans Kaat, popularly known as John Kaat in Zeeland, Michigan, a small Dutch community in the state’s western part.

According to the source, Jim’s father, John, was a shopkeeper and the town authority for sports. Apparently, there is no surprise how Jim indulged in sports as his father used to be a baseball fanatic.

Additionally, John Kaat was the one to solve the problems related to sports in the community.

As their small town, Zeeland was a big softball hotbed, John Kaat showered passion for the Philadelphia Athletics and involved his youngest son, Jim, for it.

Growing up, Jim Kaat had a huge influence from his father, as his every step of work was preached by his father in preparing it. Thus, he had a strict childhood except for the fact that he would sneak out every Sunday afternoon to play baseball.

High School

Ever since the age of 8, Jim Kaat had dreamt of being a baseball pitcher and later attended Zeeland High School. As a high schooler, he used to be a small boy standing just at 5 feet 4 inches and did not even have a uniform to fit him.

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Therewith, Jim Kaat was called ‘Little Jimmy’ due to his small stature. All in all, he commenced playing for the school’s team and, at first, had terrible control over his pitch. However, by the end of his senior years, he has improvised quite a lot.

Overall, he pitched hard and had grown up to be 5 feet and 10 inches while weighing 165 pounds.

College Years

Unfortunately, Jim Kaat couldn’t score any athletic scholarship by the end of his graduation in 1956. Therefore, he enrolled in Hope College in Holland, Michigan. Alongside his study, Jim Kaat even worked for his own money to pay for tuition.

Having said that, he had tried his hands in commercial laundry, delivering linens, lifting huge bundles, and getting tons of exercise. Afterward, Jim Kaat’s growth came in rapidly and was reached out by several big-league teams.

Jim Kaat – Professional Career

Thus, the White Sox had offered them $25,000, which was turned down. Later, they signed in for less than $4,000 to remain in the minors at first and then develop slowly. Before promoting the Double-A Chattanooga Lookouts, Jim Kaat posted 16-9 with a 2.99 ERA in 223 innings.

Washington Senators

In June 1957, as Jim Kaat signed the minor league contract, he stayed in till 1959. During his tenure with the Senators, Kaat had recorded a 12.60 ERA in just five innings, which was played in three games.

In 1960, he moved up to the Triple-A Charleston, where he had 7-10 with a 3.82 ERA.

Eventually, he moved to the major leagues, pitched 16 games in two seasons, and moved to Minnesota Twins in 1961. Following it, he grabbed the chance to start nine major leagues and four relief appearances.

Consequently, he ended the games with 1-5 with a 5.58 ERA in 50 innings. He did not return for the minor league and shifted from the Senators to the Minnesota Twins.

Minnesota Twins

With his entry in the Twins in 1961, he posted two of the three complete-game shutouts and a home run combination in Minnesota history. Additionally, he also stood as the winning member in the American League pennant alongside the Twins.

After a few years of success, 1964 came as a downfall when the Twins had just finished with 79-83. However, Jim Kaat stood strong with his personal record of 17-11 with a solid 3.22 ERA in 243 innings.

Minnesota Twins
Minnesota Twins

During the 1965 World Series, Kaat started three games in total, and after that year came his breakthrough season in 1966.

He started 25 big league games during that year as The Sporting News titled him the American League Pitcher of the Year.

The following year, Kaat started for the World Series, which was missed at the end due to his season-ending arm injury in the third inning of the last game of the season. Later, Jim Kaat bagged the All-Star in 1962 and 1966.

Overall, during the years 1962 through 1970, Kaat had a total win of 146 games as he led the team with a 91-71 record.

Chicago White Sox

Likewise, arriving in the White Sox, Jim Kaat claimed another All-Star in 1975. Apparently, he won the Gold Glove Award for defensive skill a record 16 consecutive times (1962–1977).

Altogether, Kaat bagged the three straight NL East titles from 1976-1978 alongside Hall of Famers Mike Schmidt and Steve Carlton.

Not to mention, he also was using the same baseball glove for 15 seasons. Later, he starred as a relief pitcher in 1979 after years of being a starting pitcher.

Philadelphia Phillies & New York Yankees

Apparently, in 1975, the White Sox traded Jim Kaat alongside Mike Buskey to the Phillies in exchange for Dick Ruthven, Alan Bannister, and Roy Thomas. Therewith, Kaat started splitting time between the Phillies and the Yankees for his gameplay.

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In 1979, Kaat was sold to the Yankees as a free agent; however, he signed a $150,000 contract. Right after just a month’s interval, he was given to the Cardinals.

St. Louis Cardinals

In some interval, he shifted to the St. Louis Cardinals, as he bagged the 1982 World Series. The next year, he also became the last major league player to have played in the 1950s.

As a Cardinals member, Jim Kaat started 14 games out of 49 appearances as a swingman. Later, he was seen as the left-handed bullpen arm, where he was featured in 62 games.

Kaat during gameplay
Kaat during gameplay

During the 1982 NL East games, St. Louis was falling back to Yankees or rising upon them. As for his World Series, Jim Kaat had posted one earned run in 2⅓ innings for 3.86.

After having 24 appearances with a 3.89 ERA for the Cardinals, they released Kaat on July 6.

Career Records

Kaat set phenomenal records in his baseball career. You can see his career statistics on the website of baseball-reference.

Jim Kaat – Baseball Achievements

  • 3× All-Star (1962, 1966 & 1975)
  • World Series champion (1982)
  • 16× Gold Glove Award (1962–1977)
  • AL wins leader (1966)
  • Minnesota Twins Hall of Fame

Jim Kaat – Jersey

Kaat wore jersey number 36 for most of the teams that he played for, including the Chicago White Sox, Minnesota Twins, and St. Louis Cardinals. Here’s a picture of him wearing his jersey:

Jim-Kaat
Jim Kaat wearing his no. 32 Chicago White Sox jersey

Jim Kaat – Post Retirement

After leaving his baseball career, Jim Kaat first started as the coach for the Cincinnati Reds. Additionally, he coached part of the 1984 and 1985 seasons while even leading Cincinnati rookie Tom Browning to a 20–9 record.

All in all, Kaat’s baseball analysis and strategy were sought out by many. In 2018, the Minnesota Twins hired Kaat as a Special Assistant whose role was to help Twins’ president Dave St. Peter in business, marketing, and community initiatives.

Broadcasting Career

Apart from being a team’s coach, Jim Kaat took broadcasting in parallel as he first commenced with Minnesota’s local radio.

Later, in the 1981 baseball strike, Kaat stood as an analyst for Home Team Sports and then broadcasted fully for Good Morning America from 1984–85.

Additionally, he handled a season for NBC Sports’ coverage of baseball with Phil Stone in 1986. Following it, Kaat covered the College World Series and the MLB playoffs and World Series for ESPN.

In the meantime, he covered the big event of the 1988 Summer Olympics for NBC.

During the early 1990s, Jim Kaat featured for CBS alongside Dick Stockton and Greg Gumbel. During his tenure, he covered the four American League Championship Series and even worked as a field reporter with Lesley Visser and Andrea Joyce.

Altogether, he stood as the lead analyst for ESPN after a series of small coverages. Apparently, he also worked for the ABC/The Baseball Network, the Yankees–Seattle Mariners Division Series, and the American League Championship Series.

MLB Coverage
Jim Kaat for MLB Coverage

Similarly, he was even a member of the “Outstanding Live Sports Coverage – Single Program” New York Emmy.

Nearing the 2000s, Jim Kaat had relatively less to cover and only broadcasted 65 games.

After Kaat bagged the 2006 Emmy, he announced his final broadcast on September 15. However, as the Yankee–Red Sox game was postponed, Kaat announced September 16’s doubleheader on Fox and Tim McCarver and Josh Lewin.

Afterward, he called his retirement and then joined the MLB Network as a color commentator in 2009.

He covered the MLB Network Showcase series and wrote the weekly online blog for the Yankees (YES) Network during his tenure.

Likewise, he made video blogs and interviews for national and international media.

Jim Kaat | Broadcasting Awards

  • New York Emmy Awards for ‘Outstanding Live Sports Coverage (1995-1999);  Single Program, Dwight Gooden’s No-Hitter’, The Battle of New York, Single Program, Professional; David Wells Perfect Game, New York Yankees Baseball, and New York Yankees.
  • New York Emmy Award for ‘On-camera Achievement (2004-2005); Analysis/Commentary in a Sportscast and New York Yankees Baseball – 2005 Opening Night

Jim Kaat- Bobblehead

Like many other MLB stars, Jim Kaat also has his own bobblehead replica. Here’s a picture of it:

Jim-Kaat-bobblehead
Jim Kaat’s bobblehead replica

Jim Kaat – Net Worth

Although the net worth of Jim Kaat isn’t revealed yet, yes, rest assured he has a whopping net worth. As a baseballer, his 15 years of gameplay only earned him $396,750, and the rest gained him $372,253.

Additionally, as a broadcaster, he is expected to earn an average salary of $181,825. Furthermore, he is also the author of a best-selling book and manages a sports management company named Southpaw Enterprises, Inc.

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Jim Kaat – Private Life

As we jump to the personal marriage life of Jim Kaat, to date, he has two failed marriages. At present, he is with his fourth wife after the death of his third wife.

To illustrate, his first marriage was with Julie Kaat in 1959, and they got divorced in 1977. Likewise, he exchanged vows with his second wife the same year, which also ended in 1987.

After two failed marriages, he tied the knot with his third wife in MaryAnn Kaat in 1988. Things were well in his world with his third marriage until Maryann died with a long battle with bladder cancer in July 2008.

Jim Kaat with his wife
Jim Kaat with his wife

Therefore, in his third wife’s loving memory, Jim Kaat created a memorial fund in her name and put lights on the baseball fields in his hometown of Zeeland, Michigan.

Present Wife and Children

Currently, Jim Kaat spends his life with his fourth wife, Margie Bowes Mather, after exchanging vows in 2009.

The duo met on April 7, 2009, through a mutual friend and announced their engagement later.

Margie Bows Mather is a golfer by profession who works at Willoughby Golf Club in Stuart, FL, and Salem Country Club in Peabody, MA.

She was there when Kaat was mourning his third wife’s death after installing ballpark lights.

The couple happily resides in Bennington, Vermont, the hometown of Margie Bowes Mather. Additionally, from his Kaat’s third wife, they now share 4 children and 6 grandchildren.

Jim Kaat – Autograph

Here’s a picture of Jim Kaat’s autograph:

Jim-Kaat's-autograph
Jim Kaat’s autograph

Autographed baseball

Here’s a picture of Jim Kaat’s autographed baseball:

Jim-Kaat's-autographed-baseball
Baseball with Jim Kaat’s autograph

Jim Kaat – Rookie card

Here’s a picture of Jim Kaat’s rookie card:

kaat-rookie-card
Jim Kaat’s rookie card

Gold Card

kaat-rookie-card
Jim Kaat’s gold card

Jim Kaat – Quotes

Here are some of Jim Kaat’s popular quotes:

  • When we flew in from a road trip, my son would be at the airport, and he would gravitate immediately to Earl. Earl just had that teddy bear quality about him.
  • If you think too long, you think wrong.
  • I’ll never be considered one of the all-time greats, maybe not even one of the all-time goods. But I’m one of the all-time survivors.
  • A religious fanatic is somebody who knows Jesus Christ better than you do.
  • My RV is the only place where I can find some peace and quiet.

Every ballpark used to be unique. Now, it’s like women’s breasts – if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen ’em both.

Jim Kaat – Social Media Presence

Kaat does not own any social media account. But you can follow his hashtag (Jim Kaat) on Twitter, where heavy discussions, love, and appreciation are showered over him.

Jim Kaat – FAQs

Is Jim Kaat a Hall of Famer? What is his batting average?

Although Jim Kaat has appeared as a candidate on the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s Golden Era Committee election ballot, he is not one of them.

Well, Jim Kaat maintains a batting average of 0.185. 

How good is Jim Kaat when it comes to pitching and fielding?

Jim Kaat has received universal recognition as one of the finest fielding pitchers in baseball annals. He has won 15 Gold Gloves.

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Comments

  1. How can I get Jim’s email? I would like congratulate him on his HOF honors. I am long time Twins fan who enjoyed watching Jim in 1960’s.
    Mike

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