Sunday, December 5, 2010

#35 - Gaylord Perry (CLE)

Gaylord Perry is a Hall of Famer with a 22 year career, his longest stint being the first 10 years of his career with the Giants.  He played for seven more teams in the remaining 12 years of his career.  I once saw him in an old-timer's game with all 8 teams across his jersey front.  He played with a great Giants team over his 10 years, with fellow Hall of Famers Juan Marichal, Willie Mays, Orlando Cepeda and Willie McCovey all on the same team.  Of course, the year he was traded to the Indians, he had his career best in wins, ERA, strikeouts and won the AL Cy Young award.  Typical of Giants in those days.  The year after Cepeda was traded, he won the MVP and a World Series with the Cards.  Mays won a pennant with the Mets after he was traded.

In a strange set of events, Gaylord pitched a no-hitter against the St. Louis Cardinals and Bob Gibson on September 17, 1968, winning 1-0.  The very next day, the Cards returned the favor as Ray Washburn no-hit the Giants in a 2-0 victory.  Back to back no-no's at the 'Stick.  What a series to have tickets for.  Only 14,000 fans saw either game, and I can only wonder how few saw both.  Only 4700 saw that second game.  In a legendary story, a previous manager of Perry's allegedly said that because of his weak hitting he thought a man would be put on the moon before Perry hit a major league home run.  One hour after Apollo 11 landed, Perry hit his first home run.  But, according to, this story could very well be an urban legend made up only after Perry hit the round tripper.  Either way, it's a good story, and either way, the Indians had dumb looking hats.
Cartoon:  If Gaylord heads an insurance company, how come he's doing door-to-door selling?  "Hi, I'm a future hall of famer.  You might die at any moment, are you covered?  Also, somebody might get electrocuted by your doorbell button."  I know that line anywhere.  I must admit, I've never sold insurance door-to-door in a baseball hat.  Raffle tickets for Little League, maybe, but never insurance.

Ballpark background:  This is unmistakably the Oakland Coliseum.  Behind Perry is the third base dugout.  Or is it the first base dugout?  You know, I'm thinking the tarps were on the outfield sides of the dugouts, so this is probably the first base dugout.  That would make sense because the first base dugout at the Coliseum has always been the visitor's dugout.