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Remembering Gaylord Perry

December 1, 2022

The one time I met the superb pitcher, Gaylord Perry, who died today at age 84, was at a signing event in White Plains, New York in 1996. 

He sat virtually alone as did the great, great Jean Beliveau, while the crowd around another great, Dennis Rodman swelled.

Gaylord, in his big hat was cool, friendly and not concerned with the paucity of people around him. A la a never forgotten by me, moment in the great film, “The Sting,” Mr. Perry was afforded a “flat rate.”

In conversation, I told Gaylord that while it is the flair of Rodman one notices first, indeed he was a great, unselfish player. Mr. Perry appreciated my information.

I suppose Perry’s eventual greatness first surfaced in a memorable second game of a S.F. Giants (Perry’s team in his first 10 seasons, ’62-’71 the first and last were first place finishes, most of the others second place) and the New York Mets, that went 23 innings.

The game featured all 3 big league Alou brothers in the same outfield as the great Willie Mays played shortstop. Gaylord hurled 10 scoreless innings in relief.

He won 20 or more games 5 times and was just the second pitcher to win 20 or more in both the National and American Leagues.

Perry was the first to win the Cy Young Award in both leagues.

I will skip that about his type of pitches and even the strong opinion Gaylord with other “Famers,” “Willies” (Mays and McCovey), Orlando Cepeda and Juan Marichal played on far more deserving of a title teams, than any of the 3 even year Giants World Series winners (2010-2014). However, they won nary a one, playing in a great National League.

My favorite moment regarding Gaylord Perry, other than meeting him and enjoying his friendly easygoing manner, was when he induced Willie Randolph to ground out  2nd to 1st, (Julio Cruz to Jim Maler), early in the 1982 season, to clinch his 300th major league win.

 

GaylordPerryFlickr.jpg

Gaylord Perry pictured above.

 

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