|St. Thomas Aquinas College (STAC) is proud to congratulate Jim Kaat on being elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, Class of 2022. What makes this announcement so special to the STAC community is that Mr. Kaat is a friend of the college and was bestowed an Honorary Doctor of Human Letters Degree at the college’s 62nd Commencement Ceremony in 2019, where he was accompanied by his wife Margie, and surrounded by 2,000 family and friends of over 300 students who received their degrees.|
St. Thomas Aquinas College President Ken Daly said, “We congratulate 2019 STAC Honorary Degree recipient Jim Kaat on his well-deserved election to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Mr. Kaat’s incredible 25-year playing career provides a shining example of perseverance and durability for our STAC Spartan baseball and softball teams, while Mr. Kaat serves as a role model to all STAC students for his work ethic and commitment to excellence. We look forward to inviting Mr. Kaat back to campus so that our students and the STAC community can congratulate him and celebrate in person.”
Mr. Kaat made his Major League debut in 1959 with the Washington Senators and compiled 283 wins with a 3.45 ERA over a 25-year playing career. He was a three-time All-Star who won a record 16 consecutive Gold Glove Awards and was a member of the 1982 World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals.
Mr. Kaat held a career in broadcasting following his playing career, including doing commentary for New York Yankees telecasts on MSG and YES from 1995 to 2006. He won seven local Emmy Awards for sports broadcasting, including a New York Emmy Award for Outstanding Live Sports Coverage Series in 1998.
President Daly further stated, “We are also delighted to see Major League Baseball celebrate the diversity of the game by also electing several pioneers, including first black professional player Bud Fowler, first black scout Buck O’Neil, Cuban-born players Minnie Miñoso, and Tony Oliva, and teammate, friend, and supporter of Jackie Robinson, Gil Hodges, hometown hero of the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Mets. We look forward to celebrating their achievements both on and off the baseball field at our Social Justice and Equity forums, where our students learn about and share stories of diversity issues and achievements.”