Friday, February 1, 2013

no. 140 - gaylord perry

Who is the man: Gaylord Perry had just completed a 1970 season in which he set what were then career highs in victories (23), games started (41), shutouts (5) and innings pitched (328 2/3). He finished second in the Cy Young Award voting to Bob Gibson.

Can ya dig it: I can't get used to seeing Perry with dark hair. Gray that man up!

Right on: Do you think he just threw a spitball?

You see this cat Perry is a bad mother: Perry was a master at getting into the heads of hitters and managers with his "will I or won't I throw a spitball" bit. During a single season in 1972 with the Indians, hitter Mike Epstein threatened to come out to the mound with a bat, A's manager Dick Williams ordered umpires to have Perry change his shirts, and Tigers manager Billy Martin brought a bloodhound to the game to sniff baseballs.

Shut your mouth: During the 1971 NLCS, a TV reporter sat in the stands next to the Perry family while Perry was pitching. The reporter asked Perry's 5-year-old daughter "does your daddy throw a grease ball?" The daughter said, "It's a hard slider."

No one understands him but his woman: Perry repeatedly denied throwing a doctored baseball until finally confessing in a book in 1974. But after the book, he continued to deny throwing a spitball, even suggesting that the book was a ruse.

(A word about the back): 23 complete games. And he pitched for 22 years. Just sayin'


  1. Dude and his brother were MONEY, not afraid of anything.

  2. Hearing about Gaylord's spitter reminds me of kid in my nieghborhood. In 1972 he was at a game when Gaylord was pitching. He said that every inning 3rd baseman Greg Nettles would rub his shoe in the spot just in front of the heel, then he would be given the ball, and he would rub it, then hand it back to Perry. I wondered if he was on to something that no one else picked up on?

  3. Even better.... Billy Martin (I think) once ran out to the mound himself and ripped Gaylord's hat off, trying to find the grease/vaseline/whatever.

    Gaylord won 24 in '72.