Getting To Know… “Catfish” Hunter
Born: James Augustus Hunter in Hertford
Known For: Major League Baseball pitcher with pinpoint control
Accomplishments: "Catfish" Hunter, the youngest of eight kids, enjoyed hunting, fishing and playing baseball with his brothers. While at Perquimans High School, he was a standout in football as well as baseball. His pitching skill began to attract major league baseball scouts, but in his senior year, Hunter was wounded in a hunting accident.
The accident left him somewhat hobbled at the time, but the Kansas City Athletics (later the Oakland A's) had faith in the young pitcher and signed him. Hunter began an impressive list of wins and was the highest paid pitcher in baseball
when he signed with the New York Yankees in 1975. The Yankees won three straight pennants with Hunter. He was inducted in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1987. The likeable pitcher retired from baseball early at age 33, due to arm strain and diabetes. Hunter was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also called Lou Gehrig's Disease) in 1998 and died in 1999, at age 53. A museum in his honor is inside the Perquimans County Chamber of Commerce in Hertford. Visitors can see a photo of Catfish signing his first contract, blowups of his Sports Illustrated covers, a Yankees paycheck, a video and much more.
Quote: "Winning isn't the only thing, but wanting to is."