Thursday, April 28, 2011

#193 Gaylord Perry

#193 Gaylord Perry
Unsurprising baseball fact: Gaylord Perry is the only major leaguer in history with "Gaylord" as a first or last name. Gale Staley, who played seven games for the 1925 Cubs, was born George Gaylord Staley. I'm guessing that Perry didn't get teased much, since he stood 6'4" and weighed over 200 pounds!

Fun facts about Gaylord Perry:

-A native of Williamston, NC, Gaylord signed with the Giants in 1958.

-His older brother Jim was also a successful pitcher, as previously mentioned. His lifetime record of 215-174 would be dwarfed by the accomplishments of his younger sibling.

-Perry was 23 when he debuted with the Giants in April 1962. He pitched sparingly, going 3-1 with a 5.23 ERA in 43 innings. One of his three wins was a complete game four-hitter, as San Francisco downed the Pirates 4-1 on April 30.

-He was a first-time All-Star in 1966, sporting a 21-8 record and a 2.99 ERA and 1.10 WHIP. He also had 201 strikeouts, topping 200 for the first of eight times. However, he was overshadowed by teammate Juan Marichal (25-6, 2.23 ERA, 222K, 0.86 WHIP).

-Gaylord led the N.L. in wins in 1970, going 23-13 with a 3.20 ERA. He also topped the Senior Circuit with 5 shutouts, 41 games started, and 328.2 innings. Still, he finished a distant second to Bob Gibson in Cy Young voting.

-Was traded to the Indians for "Sudden" Sam McDowell prior to the 1972 season. Popular opinion had the Giants getting the best of the trade, as McDowell was four years younger than the 33-year-old Perry. Of course hindsight shows that Sam declined rapidly, whereas Perry remained effective for another decade. He also won the Cy Young in his first season in Cleveland, going 24-16 with a 1.92 ERA, a 0.98 WHIP, and a league-leading 29 complete games for a bad team (72-84 overall).

-From Cleveland he was dealt to Texas in mid-1975, and he anchored the Rangers staff for two and a half years before being given away to San Diego for spotty reliever Dave Tomlin and cash. Now pushing 40, Perry won his second Cy Young with a 21-6 record and a 2.73 ERA. It was the third time he led his league in wins.

-Split the 1980 season between the Rangers and Yankees, and planned to retire after a mediocre 1981 season in Atlanta (8-9, 3.94 ERA). However, the players' strike left him three wins short of 300, so he caught on win the Mariners and notched the big three-double-oh on May 6, 1982 with a complete-game 7-3 decision over the Yankees. Though he was infamous for his supposed use of the spitball, he was only ejected for doctoring the ball once: August 23, 1982. So either he was very good at cheating, or he was a psychological mastermind. Maybe both.

-Gaylord finally hung up his spikes at the conclusion of the 1983 season, when he was 44 years old. He had a lifetime record of 314-265 with 303 complete games, 53 shutouts, and a 3.11 ERA. He was a five-time All-Star, and ranks 16th all-time in wins and 17th in shutouts. His total of 3,534 strikeouts is eighth-best.

-He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1991, his third year of eligibility. He has appeared in some old-timer's games, and famously wears a jersey depicting the wordmarks of all eight of his big league teams.
#193 Gaylord Perry (back)


  1. Three Hall of Famers in a row. Nice. I saw Gaylord start a triple play at Shea against the Mets in May of 1967. I thinks its the only one I've seen in person.

  2. Perry went 16 innings in a game at crosley field in 1967...Giants eventually winning on a bases loaded walk in the 21st, 1-0