On Friday, St. Thomas Aquinas College hosted its 62nd Commencement Exercises inside Aquinas Hall Gymnasum. In spite of rainy conditions, close to 2,000 family and friends accompanied over 330 students who were awarded, Masters, Bachelors, and Associate Degrees.
As a part of the ceremony, an honorary degree was bestowed upon legendary Major League Baseball pitcher, and now broadcaster Jim Kaat. Mr. Kaat received the Honorary Doctor of Human Letters Degree from St. Thomas Aquinas College President, Dr. Margaret Fitzpatrick, S.C.
Jim Kaat currently serves as a game analyst for the MLB Network Showcase series, following his distinguished 25-year playing career.
Kaat, who has been with MLB Network since 2009, earned Sports Emmy Award nominations in the Outstanding Sports Personality - Sports Event Analyst category in 2013, 2013 and 2010 for his work on MLB Network's live game telecasts.
Mr. Kaat has been in the MLB Network broadcast booth for many notable games, including the opening game at the new Yankee Stadium on April 16, 2009, MLB Network's first-ever Postseason telecast on October 7, 2012 featuring the Oakland Athletics against the Detroit TIgers, and Derek Jeter's final home game at Yankee Stadium on September 25, 2014.
Kaat, who made his Major League debut in 1959 with the Washington Senators, compiled 283 wins with a 3.45 ERA over a 25-year playing career. He was a three-time All-Star, won a record 16 consecutive Gold Glove Awards and was a member of the 1982 World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals.
Following his playing career, Mr. Kaat has a had a successful broadcast career, including doing commentary for New York Yankees telecasts on MSG and YES from 1995 to 2006. He has won seven local Emmy Awards for sports broadcasting, including a New York Emmy Award for Outstanding Live Sports Coverage Series in 1998.
Kaat was a lead analyst for ESPN's Baseball Tonight in 1994 and was the primary Minnesota Twins in-game analyst on WCCO-TV from 1988 until 1993. Mr. Kaat covered baseball during the 1988 Olympics (held in Seoul, South Korea) on NBC and was an analyst for the College World Series, the MLB Postseason and the World Series for ESPN.
Mr. Kaat was an analyst and play-by-play announcer on WPIX-TV's Yankees broadcasts in 1986. In 1984 and 1985, he was Good Morning America's Chief Sports Correspondent, covering the World Series. He began broadcasting during the strike-shortened 1981 season as a Minor League analyst for the Home Team Sports Network.
Kaat was accompanied by his wife Margie (seen above) for the ceremony and prestigious honor.