Hall of Fame pitcher Catfish Hunter dead at 53

Updated: September 9, 1999, 3:58 PM ET

NEW YORK (Ticker) -- Hall-of-Fame pitcher Jim "Catfish" Hunter died today after a battle with Lou Gehrig's disease. He was 53.

The disease, called Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or ALS, plagued Hunter in the last year of his life.

Hunter earned a place in baseball history by becoming the game's first multi-millionaire free agent, signing a five-year, $3.75 million deal with the Yankees on New Year's Eve 1974.

The anchor of the Oakland Athletics pitching staffs of the 1970s, ...

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