North Carolina’s own “Catfish” Hunter has been included on Sports Illustrated’s Top 15 Major League Baseball Nicknames.
The website has this to say about Hunter’s nickname:
“Hunter was nicknamed ‘Catfish’ by Royals owner Charles Finley, who felt the youngster needed a catchy nickname. The owner then created a story that Hunter had caught a large catfish when he was a boy. Though the story was fictional, the nickname stuck.”
A native of Hertford, North Carolina, Catfish was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1987. He passed away in 1999.
Since Catfish was a product of the Tar Heel State, the North Carolina Collection has several items related to him. They are:
Perquimans County salutes Jimmy “Catfish” Hunter : May 9, 1987. [Image above comes from this item.]
Catfish Hunter / by Gary Libman & Paul J. Deegan. [CpB H946L]
“From Barnyard to Ball Park,” by Todd A. Brewster in The Country Gentleman, Fall, 1976, Vol. 126, No. 4. [CpB H946b]