ZEELAND, Mich. (WOOD) — A Zeeland native and Hope College graduate has achieved baseball immortality. Jim Kaat was officially inducted in the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday, 39 years after playing his last MLB game. 

Kaat played in the majors for 25 years. Most of his time spent as starting pitcher for the Minnesota Twins. The three-time all-star has three 20-win seasons under his belt, 283 wins on the mound and is a 16-time Golden Glove winner. 

Kaat said his love for baseball started when his dad took him to his first baseball game on June 26, 1946. It was a doubleheader between the Tigers and Red Sox in Detroit. 

“My little 7-year-old brain said, ‘I want to be one of those guys,’” Kaat said. “From that day forward, all I wanted to do was be a baseball player.”

FILE – Minnesota Twins’ pitcher Jim Kaat pitches against the Detroit Tigers in St. Paul, Minn., Sept. 26, 1966. Kaat threw a 1-0 shutout for his 25th win of the season. Kaat will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday, July 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Robert Walsh, File)

His career got started at Hope College in 1957, before he signed with the Washington Senators. Kaat also spent time playing with the Chicago White Sox, Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Yankees. He played his final seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals from 1980 to 1983.