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|Batted: Right||Threw: Right|
|April 14, 1962 for the San Francisco Giants|
|October 2, 1983 for the Kansas City Royals|
|Career Highlights and Awards|
Notorious for doctoring baseballs (throwing a spitball), Perry won 314 games over a 22-year career starting in 1962. A five-time All-Star, he was the first pitcher to win the Cy Young Award in each league, winning it in 1972 with the Cleveland Indians and in 1978 with the San Diego Padres. He is also distinguished, along with his brother Jim, for being the second-winningest brother combination in baseball history--second only to the knuckleballing Niekro brothers, Phil and Joe. While pitching for the Seattle Mariners, Perry defeated the New York Yankees on May 6, 1982 to become the fifteenth member of the 300 win club for pitchers, but the first since Early Wynn did it in 1963. In 1983, he became the third pitcher in the same year to surpass longtime strikeout king Walter Johnson's record of 3,509 strikeouts. Steve Carlton and Nolan Ryan were the others.
Despite Perry's notoriety for doctoring baseballs, and perhaps even more for making batters think he was throwing them on a regular basis--he even went so far as to title his 1974 autobiography Me and the Spitter--(co-authored by Cleveland baseball newspaper writer Bob Sudyk) he wouldn't be ejected for the illegal practice until August 23, 1982, in his 21st season in the majors. Perry also reportedly approached the makers of Vaseline about endorsing the product and was allegedly rebuffed with a one-line postcard reading, "We soothe babies' backsides, not baseballs." Former Manager Gene Mauch famously quipped "He should be in the Hall of Fame with a tube of KY Jelly attached to his plaque."
Like most pitchers, Perry was not renowned for his hitting ability, and in his sophomore season of 1963, he is said to have joked, "They'll put a man on the moon before I hit a home run." Other variants on the story say that someone else said it about him, but either way, on July 20 1969, just minutes after the Apollo 11 spacecraft carrying Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon, Perry hit the first home run of his career.
Perry retired in 1983 after pitching for eight teams (the San Francisco Giants, Cleveland Indians, Texas Rangers, San Diego Padres, New York Yankees, Atlanta Braves, Seattle Mariners and Kansas City Royals). It was during his time with Seattle that he kicked noted Second City actor Jim Zulevic out of a late night party in a Chicago hotel.
Despite his admission of illegal pitches he was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1991 and was nominated as a finalist for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team. In 1999 The Sporting News ranked him 97th on their list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players.
At Candlestick Park on September 17, 1968, two days after his 30th birthday, Perry, then a Giant, pitched a 1-0 no-hitter over the St. Louis Cardinals and Bob Gibson. The very next day, the Cardinals returned the favor on the Giants on a 2-0 no-hitter by Ray Washburn—the first time in Major League history that back-to-back no-hitters had been pitched in the same series.
Perry was part of several trades. Before the 1972 season the Giants traded the then 32-year old Perry and shortstop Frank Duffy for 28-year old flamethrower Sam McDowell. After that trade Perry went on to win 180 more games in his career while McDowell won only 24 more. Before the 1978 season San Diego acquired him from Texas in exchange for middle reliever Dave Tomlin and $125,000. The 39-year old Perry wound up winning the Cy Young Award going 21-6 for San Diego while the 29-year-old Tomlin never pitched for Texas and pitched barely 150 innings the rest of his career.
Perry is one of four pitchers to win the Cy Young for both the American and National League (Pedro Martinez, Roger Clemens, & Randy Johnson being the others). He held the record for most consecutive 15-win season since 1900 with 13 (1966-1978) and was 2nd all-time to Cy Young, who had 15 (1891-1905). Greg Maddux surpassed both men, with 17 in a row (1988-2004).
- Magazine covers
- 300 win club
- 3000 strikeout club
- List of Major League Baseball leaders in career wins
- List of Major League Baseball wins champions
- List of Major League Baseball wins champions
- MLB All-Time Hit Batsmen List
- Top 100 strikeout pitchers of all time
- List of Major League Baseball no-hitters
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or The Baseball Cube
- baseballhalloffame.org – Hall of Fame biography page
- Giants Retire Perry's Number 36
|Major League Player of the Month|
|American League Cy Young Award|
|National League Cy Young Award|
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