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Gaylord Perry Autographs, Memorabilia & Collectibles

GAYLORD PERRY
Born: September 15, 1938 in Williamston, North Carolina
Biography | show moreshow less
Full name Gaylord Jackson Perry
Born September 15, 1938, Williamston, North Carolina
First Game: April 14, 1962; Final Game: September 21, 1983
Bat: Right Throw: Right Height: 6' 4" Weight: 205
Brother of Jim Perry

GAYLORD PERRY
This article was written by Mark Armour and is presented in part, courtesy of the Society for American Baseball Research
Selected to the Hall of Fame in 1991
Named NL Cy Young Award Winner by Baseball Writers' Association of America (1978)
Named AL Cy Young Award Winner by Baseball Writers' Association of America (1972)
Named right-handed pitcher on The Sporting News NL All-Star Team (1978)
Named right-handed pitcher on The Sporting News AL All-Star Team (1972)

Gaylord Perry, one of the premier pitchers of his generation, won 314 games and struck out 3524 batters, but his place in baseball history rests mainly with his notorious use of the spitball, or greaseball, which defied batters, humiliated umpires, and infuriated opposing managers for two decades. But make no mistake: he was also a brilliant craftsman with several excellent pitches in his repertoire, a hurler whose mastery of the spitter provided the batter yet another thing to think about as the pitch sailed toward the plate. After the game, he sheepishly denied any wrongdoing, slyly grinning like a poker player who knows he's one step ahead of everyone else.

During Perry's career, the rules governing the enforcement of the spitball were changed twice, and the umpires were given explicit directives concerning the pitch several other times, and all this was primarily because of Gaylord Perry. When it was his day to pitch, he was the story. Where did he get his grease? Why don't the umpires stop him? Did you see what that pitch just did? Perry just kept grinning. The only time the ruckus quieted down, he reasoned, was when he was pitching poorly. The louder it got, the better he was doing. Sure, there were many other accused practitioners of the spitter during the 1960s and 1970s-good pitchers like Phil Regan, Bill Singer, Jim Maloney-but no one threw it as well, and for as long, as Gaylord Perry.

Through the years, Perry's denials became a familiar and humorous part of the show. During a playoff game in 1971, a television reporter briefly sat down with the Perry family during a game Gaylord was pitching. After a few polite questions, Allison, Perry's five-year-old daughter was asked, "Does your daddy throw a grease ball?" Not missing a beat, she responded, "It's a hard slider."

Film Credits | show moreshow less

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