Gaylord Perry

Position: Pitcher
Teams: San Francisco Giants, 1962-1971; Cleveland Indians, 1972-1975; Texas Rangers, 1975-1977, 1980; San Diego Padres, 1978-1979; New York Yankees, 1980; Atlanta Braves, 1981; Seattle Mariners, 1982-1983; Kansas City Royals, 1983

Gaylord Perry
Gaylord Perry is the only pitcher in
baseball history to have won the Cy
Young Award in both the American
and National Leagues.

Gaylord Perry -- the only pitcher in history to have won the Cy Young Award in both leagues -- fooled hitters and umpires for 22 years. An admitted proponent of the spitball, he entitled his autobiography Me and the Spitter. He contended that he rarely threw it, however, maintaining the idea that he might use a spitball was enough to put the hitter at a disadvantage. He heightened suspicion by his odd, herky-jerky delivery.

Gaylord Jackson Perry was born in 1938 in Williamston, North Carolina, the younger brother of Jim Perry by two years. Gaylord spent four years in the Giants' farm system, and he was first called to San Francisco in 1962 as a part-time starter. He was 25 years old in 1964 when he became a regular starter, and he responded well, with a 2.75 ERA for the 1964 Giants. The next year his ERA ballooned to 4.19, but he rebounded with a 21-8 mark and a 2.99 ERA in '66. He kept his ERA under 3.00 for four straight years, tossed a no-hitter in 1968, and led the league with 23 wins in '70.

The Giants traded Perry to the Indians prior to the 1972 season (for Sam McDowell, on the way out by then). Perry responded by winning the Cy Young Award, at 24-16 with a 1.92 ERA. He was 19-19 in 1973, and in 1974 he was joined by his brother, Jim, on the Cleveland staff. Jim had pitched for the Tribe from 1959 to 1963, and in '74 he turned in a 17-12 record with a 2.96 ERA. Gaylord went 21-13 that year, and their 38 victories represented half of Cleveland's win total that year.

Although Gaylord won 70 games for Cleveland in just over three years, he was then traded to Texas. Three years later, he was traded back to the National League, and in 1978 he won the NL Cy Young Award with a 21-6 season for the Padres. Perry finally drew a suspension in 1979 for his foul play, then went calmly back to work.

Perry kept moving, landing in Seattle in 1982, where he won his 300th game. He won his final four games for Kansas City in 1983 using a "puff ball" that had so much rosin on it that it billowed on its way to the plate.

Perry won 314 games with a remarkable 3.10 ERA, while playing on only one pennant-winning club. Jim had 215 career wins, and the brothers' 529 total was the highest until the Niekro brothers surpassed it in 1987. Gaylord's 3,534 strikeouts rank him No. 6 on the all-time list, and his 5,351 innings pitched are in his­tory's top ten. Perry retired after the 1983 season and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1991.

Here are Gaylord Perry's major league totals:


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