Two teams this week have announced they are retiring a favorite player’s number.
The first was the Twins. Jim Kaat, on the heels (finally!) of getting selected for the Hall of Fame by the Golden Days committee. His teammate, Tony Oliva, has already had his Twins numbered retired. It’ll be a great day this summer, and well deserved, for “Kitty” Kaat. He still owns a number of team records.
Today the Mets announced that Keith Hernandez’ number will be retired. He is still hoping for an eventual Call from the Hall. The BBWAA never came close to voting him in (he peaked at 10.8% of the vote and fell below 5% of the vote and off the ballot in year 9). His stats deserved better. He had a career 128 OPS+. HIs JAWS rates him just below average among HoF first basemen… but a future Modern Era committee may look favorably upon him. All he needs to do is convince them that there was a second spitter.