The Cleveland Indians organization is mourning the loss of former pitcher Jim Grant.
According to the team, Jim ‘Mudcat’ Grant passed away at 85. Officials say he died peacefully Friday night in Los Angeles.
The Indians released the following statement regarding his passing:
“The Cleveland Indians family is deeply saddened by the loss of Jim “Mudcat” Grant, a true fan favorite on both the playing field and in the broadcast booth. A native of Lacoochee, FL, he joined the Indians organization at the age of 18 in 1954, made his Major League debut in 1958, and left a legacy as large as his personality. To this day, Mudcat was a cherished member of the Indians Alumni Ambassador Program. We send our condolences to the entire Grant family , as well as to his many teammates and other organizations impacted by his 60-plus years in our game.”
BOB DIBIASIO, INDIANS SVP/PUBLIC AFFAIRS.
We mourn the passing of Jim “Mudcat” Grant, who was 85. A beloved member of the @Indians and @Twins, he was an ace of Minnesota’s pennant-winning ‘65 club, when he became the first African American pitcher in AL history to win 20 games in a season. Rest In Peace. pic.twitter.com/ds9H7yfwRc
— MLB Communications (@MLB_PR) June 12, 2021
Grant had at 14-year MLB career and pitched for seven different clubs.
He played seven seasons with the Tribe and compiled a record of 67-63 from 1958-1964. He also earned American League All-Star honors in 1963.
Grant finished his Major League career 145-119 with a 3.63 ERA (2242.0 IP, 985 ER) in 571 outings (293 starts).
In 1965 He became the first African-American pitcher to win 20 games and to win a World Series game. He played for the Minnesota Twins at that time.
Deeply saddened by the passing of James Timothy “Mudcat” Grant at age 85. His life on the field, in TV Booth, member of our front office, and advocate for African-American participation in baseball, left a legacy as large as his personality. Pictured with roommate Gary Bell. pic.twitter.com/SQyEidnzOZ
— Bob DiBiasio (@BDbaseball6) June 12, 2021
He also authored a book titled “The Black Aces” which payed tribute to the 15 Black pitchers who were 20-game winners in MLB.
Following his playing days, he served as an activist and advocate for African American participation in baseball. Grant also called Indians games on FOX 8 (WJW-TV) with Harry Jones and served as a member of the team’s community relations department.