For Pete's Sake

This is the song Bob Dylan wrote about former Kansas City A’s pitcher Catfish Hunter

Bob Dylan, Nobel Prize winner.

I must admit that I didn’t see that coming this morning. But Dylan indeed was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature on Thursday. During an announcement in Stockholm, Dylan was chosen for the prize for “having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition,” according to the New York Times.

Here’s a fact that baseball fans may not know: Dylan wrote a song about former Kansas City A’s pitcher Catfish Hunter. During his 15-year Hall of Fame career with the KC and Oakland A’s and the New York Yankees, Hunter won a Cy Young Award, was part of five World Series champions and made eight All-Star Game appearances, including two with the Kansas City A’s. He made his debut in Kansas City in 1965.

Here is the song, which he wrote with Jacques Levy and includes these lyrics:

Used to work on Mr. Finley’s farm

But the old man wouldn’t pay

So he packed his glove and took his arm

And one day he just ran away.

Hunter was gone from Kansas City when Dylan wrote that song in 1976*, but you may have heard one other tune about our fair city.

*It wasn’t released until 1991 on “The Bootleg Series Volumes 1–3 (Rare & Unreleased) 1961–1991.”

The album “Lost on the River: The New Basement Tapes” was released in 2014 and is a collection of songs other artists recorded after lyrics written by Dylan in 1967 were found. It includes the song “Kansas City,” written by Dylan, with the music being added by Marcus Mumford (of Mumford and sons) and Dawes’ Taylor Goldsmith. By the way, Johnny Depp plays guitar on the song.

Pete Grathoff: 816-234-4330, @pgrathoff

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