Boston Herald

Black pioneer Mudcat Grant, 85, dies


Jim “Mudcat” Grant, the first Black 20-game winner in the American League and a key part of Minnesota’s first World Series team in 1965, has died. He was 85.

The Twins announced Grant’s death Saturday. No cause was given. Grant’s personal assistant, on behalf of the former right-hander’s family, informed the Twins of the death.

Grant spent less than four full seasons of his 14-year major league career with the Twins, but they were by far his best.

After being acquired in a trade with Cleveland on June 15, 1964, for George Banks and Lee Stange, Grant led the American League with 21 wins in 1965 — Don Newcombe of the Brooklyn Dodgers was the first Black 20-game winner in the majors in 1951.

Grant’s big season helped the Twins post a 102-60 record for a spot in the World Series. He also led the league with six shutouts in 1965.

He started three times in that World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers and won twice — including a 5-1, complete-game victory in Game 6, during which he also hit a three-run homer. Sandy Koufax and the Dodgers won Game 7.

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