Say cheese, Jim Kaat!

 With the great Jim Kaat

With the great Jim Kaat

I love Jim Kaat's smile, and there's a very good reason. At the very outset of DIAMONDS FROM THE DUGOUT, I share the story of my first actual attendance at a Major League Baseball game. Jim was pitching for the Minnesota Twins at home on July 24, 1962. I was TWO! (Almost three.) I was there with my Mom as guests in the Twins player wives section, sitting next to Harmon Killebrew's kids, because my Aunt Sue was married to Johnny Goryl, then a Twins infielder. That was the night that Jim's teeth were knocked out on a comebacker against Detroit, and today at the MLB.com studios in Manhattan we talked at length about what he remembers and what I was told. You won't believe what Jim did in the following days, based on how pitchers are treated today. Jim's story in the "Outwork Everyone" chapter of DIAMONDS FROM THE DUGOUT is priceless, and we both hope you will enjoy reading it and learning an everyday life lesson. I'll be at the MLB Players Alumni Association's annual Legends for Youth Dinner on Tuesday night to report for MLB.com, and Jim will be there along with others who appear in my book (Brooks Robinson, Andre Dawson, Tony Perez among them). It was my honor to sign this book for Jim, though I am sure his signature is a lot more valuable. Kitty Kaat for Cooperstown.