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Kaat returns to Twins as special assistant

MLB.com @RhettBollinger

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins continue to add former greats to their front office, as Jim Kaat was hired as a special assistant to the organization on Thursday, a day after Justin Morneau joined as a special assistant to baseball operations.

Kaat, who pitched with the Twins from 1959-73 as part of his 25-year playing career, will have a similar role to other former Twins legends such as Tony Oliva, Rod Carew, Kent Hrbek and Tom Kelly. Kaat will aid in community and business initiatives in Minnesota and Southwest Florida, and he'll be at TwinsFest this weekend.

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins continue to add former greats to their front office, as Jim Kaat was hired as a special assistant to the organization on Thursday, a day after Justin Morneau joined as a special assistant to baseball operations.

Kaat, who pitched with the Twins from 1959-73 as part of his 25-year playing career, will have a similar role to other former Twins legends such as Tony Oliva, Rod Carew, Kent Hrbek and Tom Kelly. Kaat will aid in community and business initiatives in Minnesota and Southwest Florida, and he'll be at TwinsFest this weekend.

"The Twins organization is thrilled to have Jim Kaat back on board," Twins president Dave St. Peter said. "Jim's history with this franchise as well as our game is rich and legendary. It's special to have this opportunity to bring him back home to the community and region he loves so much."

Kaat, 79, began his career with the Washington Senators before the Twins moved to Minnesota in '61. In 438 games with the Twins, he won 189 games while posting a 3.28 ERA with 133 complete games and 1,824 strikeouts in 2,959 1/3 innings.

The left-hander went on to pitch with the Phillies, Cardinals, White Sox and Yankees, posting a career 3.45 ERA with 283 wins. He's known as one of the best defensive pitchers in baseball history, winning 16 straight Gold Glove Awards from 1962-77. He was also an All-Star in '62, '66 and '75, and he won the World Series in '82 with the Cardinals.

Kaat has worked as a broadcaster since retirement, including stints with the Twins, Yankees and MLB Network. He retired from calling Yankees games full time in 2006. He remains a candidate to be elected to the Hall of Fame as part of MLB's Golden Era Committee.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.

Minnesota Twins