Twins legends Oliva, Kaat honored to join Baseball Hall of Fame
On Monday afternoon former Twins teammates Tony Oliva and Jim Kaat met with the media after the announcement that they would be included in the 2022 class of inductees into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
The Baseball Hall of Fame’s "Golden Era Committee" elected Oliva and Kaat for enshrinement.
Both players spent 15 seasons with the Twins and are two of the greatest players in franchise history.
***To see extended interviews with Tony Oliva, Jim Kaat and other former Minnesota Twins players CLICK PLAY ABOVE***
The Twins announcement included appearances by Jack Morris, Paul Molitor, Rod Carew (via Zoom), Bert Blyleven (via Zoom), and others from the Minnesota Twins organization.
They will be part of the Hall of Fame’s 2022 Enshrinement Ceremonies next summer.
Oliva and Kaat, both 83, join Harmon Killebrew (1984), Rod Carew (1991), Kirby Puckett (2001) and Bert Blyleven (2011) as the fifth and sixth Twins to be elected to the Hall of Fame, as well as the first Twins to go into the Hall of Fame in the same class. They also become the 11th and 12th people in franchise history to have plaques at the Hall, including the Washington Senators’ Goose Goslin (1968), Clark Griffith (1946), Bucky Harris (1975), Walter Johnson (1936), Heinie Manush (1964) and Sam Rice (1963).
Both players received 12 out of a possible 16 votes (75%) to win election.
A native of Cuba, Oliva batted .304 (1917-for-6301) with 329 doubles, 48 triples, 220 home runs, 947 RBI, 870 runs scored, 448 walks, a .353 on-base percentage, a .476 slugging percentage and an .830 OPS in 1,676 career games across 15 major league seasons, all in a Minnesota uniform. He was signed by legendary scout Joe Cambria in 1961, made his major league debut in 1962 and was named the American League Rookie of the Year in 1964.
A native of Michigan, Kaat went 283-237 (.544) with a 3.45 ERA (4530.1 IP, 1738 ER), 180 complete games, 31 shutouts, 17 saves, 1083 walks, 2461 strikeouts, a 1.26 WHIP and a .264 opponent batting average in 898 career games (625 starts) for Washington/Minnesota (1959-73), Chicago-AL (1973-75), Philadelphia (1976-79), New York-AL (1979-80) and St. Louis (1980-83).
Kaat’s best season in Minnesota came in 1966, when he went 25-13 with a 2.75 ERA.