Hall of Fame pitcher Gaylord Perry has died

Gaylord Perry, who won 314 games as an MLB pitcher, and was the first pitcher to win the Cy Young Award in both the National and American Leagues, died at home this morning, at age 84.

Perry, who played in the majors for 22 seasons, was best-known for doctoring baseballs (or making it appear that he was), throwing spitballs, balls with vaseline on them, etc.; his 1974 autobiography was titled “Me and the Spitter.”

He was a fun pitcher to watch.

He definitely was – I remember watching him when he was with the Braves, on WTBS in the early '80s. For a while, he was throwing what he called a “puffball” – he’d load his hand up with rosin from the rosin bag, and the ball would leave his hand in a small cloud of rosin dust. MLB quickly decided that that was against the spirit of the doctoring rule, and banned it. :slight_smile:

I’m fairly certain that Eddie Ross, the aging junkball pitcher in the film Major League, was based on Perry.

The two 1972 Cy Young Award winners were Gaylord Perry and Steve Carlton, and I doubt there has ever been a year when two greater Cy Youngs were both wasted on bad teams.

Perry pitched in 41 games, 40 starts. He had no no decisions; he was 24-16, and that was for a team that scored less than Beavis and Butthead. His ERA was 1.92 and he pitched 342 innings, completing 29 games. In that one relief appearance he got a save.

And Carlton was BETTER.

The baseball doctoring Eddie Harris in the first Major League movie is a clear homage to Gaylord Perry.

That is really awesome.

facepalm I got the name wrong!


Legendary Hall-of-Fame cheater who changed the rules of the game.

Truth or fiction - this has always been a good Gaylord Perry story.

“In the early '60s, a reporter named Harry Jupiter (seriously) was shooting the breeze with Giants manager Alvin Dark during a batting practice. Jupiter said something to Dark about Perry someday smacking a homer in a game, to which Dark is alleged to have responded with some variation of, “A man will land on the moon before Gaylord Perry hits a home run.” A few years later, on July 20, 1969, a man did land on the moon, which was announced to the ballpark crowd in San Francisco. Within the hour, Perry blasted his first career home run.”

Almost 500 at-bats before his first home run. He went on to hit five more during his career.

The game on July 20, 1969 started at 1 PM local. Eagle landed on the moon at 1:17 local, so Perry’s first homer in the third inning really was less than an hour later.

The dubious part is whether anyone made the prediction, of course. The quote is sometimes attributed to Alvin Dark, and sometimes to Perry himself. I don’t really know why Dark would say that; Perry was a bad hitter like most pitchers, but he wasn’t bad to an unusual extent, and he’d hit a few homers in the minors. He was, it’s worth noting, also a BIG guy, 6’4" and two hundred pounds, the kind of guy you’d think could hit one out by sheer luck. It sounds likelier Perry would be joking about himself.

Of course, the source for the story, no matter who the line is attributed to, always seems to come back to… Gaylord Perry. Perry loved to tell jokes and tall tales and make fun of himself.

Harry Jupiter, Alvin Dark, Gaylord Perry… Are these DC Comics alter egos?

I need to start a thread about the best MLB names. Gotta love a sport with Milton Bradley, Rusty Kuntz, and Van Lingle Mungo.

Please do. I would contribute MIckey Klutts.

And father-and-son Steve and Nick Swisher.

Don’t forget J.J. Putz.
Extra bad when he came to the Mets.

Even worse, if he did something good, people would still say “Look at what that Putz did!” Maybe he should have been a golfer.

And at least two guys called Mookie.

Blue Moon Odom, Catfish Hunter, and of course… Oil Can Boyd.

Pitchers named Rollie Fingers and Bill Hands.

Is it just me or does it seem there’s less baseball players known by nicknames instead of their given names these days? It seems that even in my youth there were colorful names, not in the sense of Blue Moon but Oil Can. Not to mention Bill “The Spaceman” Lee, a colorful character himself.