Patrick Reusse of the Star Tribune has a nice feature up today – getting us up-to-date with Jim Kaat.
The Yankees rewarded Kaat for his excellence with generous pay, but they were unable to talk him out of retirement after the 2006 season. He went home to Stuart, Fla., and started making plans with his wife, Mary Ann, to see the country in their Itasca-Meridian model Winnebago.
“We left Florida at the end of May and didn’t get back until the middle of November,” Kaat said. “We traveled 10,400 miles through 27 states, with stops at 60 different golf courses and twice as many art galleries.
“Mary Ann doesn’t golf, so she brushes the cats while I’m playing golf, and then I pay her back by visiting art galleries.
“We hit every state where we have relatives. We saw every brother, sister, son, daughter, grandchild, niece and nephew we could find.”
“I know it’s fashionable for retired people to get on a plane, fly to Europe, then come home and talk about how great Rome is,” Kaat said. “To each his own, but I’d say to those people, ‘You don’t know what you’re missing — the scenery, the beautiful little towns, the great people — by not hitting the highways and seeing this country.”