Gaylord Perry

Gaylord Jackson Perry (born September 15, 1938) is a former Major League Baseball right-handed pitcher. He pitched from 1962 to 1983 for eight different teams. During a 22-year baseball career, Perry compiled 314 wins, 3,534 strikeouts, and a 3.11 earned run average. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1991.

Perry, a five-time All-Star, was the first pitcher to win the Cy Young Award in each league, winning it in the American League in 1972 with the Cleveland Indians and in the National League in 1978 with the San Diego Padres. He is also distinguished, along with his brother Jim, for being part of the second-winningest brother combination in baseball history—second only to the knuckleballing Niekro brothers, Phil and Joe.[1] While pitching for the Seattle Mariners in 1982, Perry became the fifteenth member of the 300 win club.

Despite Perry's notoriety for doctoring baseballs (e.g. throwing a spitball), and perhaps even more so 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[2] – he was not ejected for the illegal practice until August 23, 1982, in his 21st season in the majors.

Gaylord Perry
Perry with the Rangers in 1977
Born: September 15, 1938 (age 80)
Williamston, North Carolina
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 14, 1962, for the San Francisco Giants
Last MLB appearance
October 2, 1983, for the Kansas City Royals
MLB statistics
Win–loss record314–265
Earned run average3.11
Career highlights and awards
Member of the National
Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Baseball Hall of Fame Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg
Vote77.2% (third ballot)

Early life

Gaylord Perry was born in Williamston, North Carolina, and named after a close friend of his father's, who died while having his teeth pulled.[3] He studied at Campbell University in his home state. The current mascot of the Campbell Fighting Camels and Lady Camels is Gaylord the Camel, named in honor of Gaylord Perry.

Pitching style

Perry claims he was taught the spitball in 1964 by pitcher Bob Shaw. Perry had a reputation throughout his career for doctoring baseballs, and was inspected on the mound by umpires and monitored closely by opposing teams.[4] On August 23, 1982, he was ejected from a game against the Boston Red Sox for doctoring the ball, and given a 10-day suspension.

Perry 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 K-Y Jelly attached to his plaque."[5]

Gene Tenace, who caught Gaylord Perry when they played for the San Diego Padres, said: "I can remember a couple of occasions when I couldn't throw the ball back to him because it was so greasy that it slipped out of my hands. I just walked out to the mound and flipped the ball back to him."[6]

Perry used his reputation to psyche out the hitters as well. As he looked in to his catcher for the pitch selection, Perry would touch various parts of his head, such as his eyebrows and his cap. In this manner, he may or may not have been applying a foreign substance to the ball on any particular pitch. Reggie Jackson was so upset after striking out against Perry one time that Jackson was ejected from the game. Jackson returned from the dugout with a container of Gatorade, splashing Gatorade onto the field while yelling at the umpire that Perry should be allowed to use the Gatorade on the baseball.[7]

The spitball was not his only method for upsetting batters. Sports Illustrated's Joe Posnanski wrote of Perry, "My favorite trick pitch of his was the old Puffball, where he would load up on rosin so that a puff of white smoke would release while he threw his pitches. This was made illegal somewhere along the way (because of Perry, of course), but it's so awesome — it's like the sort of thing one of the villains on the old Batman TV show would do."[8]

Professional career

Minor leagues

Gaylord Perry 1961
Perry as a member of the Tacoma Giants in 1961.

Perry played semi-professionally in Alpine, Texas at Kokernot Field in the early 1950s for the Alpine Cowboys. Bobby Biedermann was his catcher and roommate.

Perry was signed by the San Francisco Giants on June 3, 1958 for $90,000, which was a big contract at the time. He spent 1958 with the St. Cloud, Minnesota team in Class A Northern League, compiling a 9–5 record and a 2.39 ERA. In 1959 he was promoted to the Class AA Corpus Christi Giants, where he posted a less impressive 10–11 record and 4.05 ERA. He remained with the team as they became the Rio Grande Valley Giants in 1960, and an improved ERA of 2.82 earned him a promotion to the Class AAA Tacoma Giants for the 1961 season. At Tacoma, he led the Pacific Coast League in wins and inning pitched in 1961.[9]

He had a brief call-up to the Major Leagues in 1962, making his debut on April 14 against the Cincinnati Reds. He appeared in 13 games in 1962, but had a 5.23 ERA and was sent back down to Tacoma for the remainder of the year.[9] With the addition of Perry, Bill James called that 1962 Tacoma squad, which featured numerous future major league players, the best minor league lineup of the 1960s.[3]

San Francisco Giants (1962–71)

After his brief call-up in 1962, Perry joined the Giants in 1963 to work mostly as a relief pitcher that year, posting a mediocre 4.03 ERA in 31 appearances. Nevertheless, in 1964 he was given the opportunity to join the starting rotation, finishing with a 2.75 ERA and a 12–11 record, both second best for the Giants that year behind Juan Marichal. In 1965 his record was 8–12, and with two full seasons as a starter, his 24–30 record attracted little national attention.[9]

Perry's breakout season came in 1966 with a tremendous start, going 20–2 into August. Perry and Marichal became known as a "1–2 punch" to rival the famous Koufax/Drysdale combination of the Los Angeles Dodgers. While Marichal was NL Player of the Month in May, Perry was so named in June (5-0, 0.90 ERA, 31 SO). He played in his first All-Star game, but after August, he slumped the rest of the season, finishing 21–8, and the Giants finished second to the Dodgers. Marichal missed much of the 1967 season with a leg injury, and Perry was thrust into the role of team ace. While he finished the season with a disappointing 15–17 record, he had a low ERA and allowed only 7 hits per 9 innings pitched.[10]

Perry had similar numbers in 1968: he posted a 16-15 record, but with a then-career-best 2.45 ERA on a Giants team that finished second to the St. Louis Cardinals. On September 17 of that year, two days after his 30th birthday, Perry no-hit the Cardinals and Bob Gibson 1-0 at Candlestick Park. The lone run came on a first-inning home run by light-hitting Ron Hunt—the second of the only two he would hit that season. 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.[10]

Like most pitchers, Perry was not renowned for his hitting ability, and in his sophomore season of 1963, his manager Alvin Dark is said to have joked, "They'll put a man on the moon before he hits a home run." There are other variants on the story, but either way, on July 20, 1969, just an hour after the Apollo 11 spacecraft carrying Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon, Perry hit the first home run of his career.[11]

In 1969, Perry led the league in innings pitched, but the Giants finished second in the pennant race for the fifth straight season. Perry took over as the Giants' ace in 1970, and led the league both in wins (23) and innings pitched (328). Perry's strong 1970 performance salvaged the Giants season, helping them finish above .500 but in third place. In 1971, the Giants finally won their division, with Perry posting a 2.76 ERA. In what would be his only two postseason appearances, Perry won one game and lost the other against the Pittsburgh Pirates.[12]

Cleveland Indians (1972–75)

Before the 1972 season, the Giants traded the then 33-year-old Perry and shortstop Frank Duffy to the Cleveland Indians for 29-year-old flamethrower Sam McDowell, the ace of the Indians' staff. After that trade Perry went on to win 180 more games in his career while McDowell won only 24 more.

Perry went 24–16 in 1972 with a 1.92 ERA and 1 save, winning his first Cy Young Award. He stood as the only Cy Young winner for Cleveland until 2007 (CC Sabathia). He was named AL Player of the Month in June 1974 with a 6-0 record, 1.00 ERA, and 39 strikeouts, thus becoming the first player to win the award in both leagues (the AL had only begun to issue the award in April of that season). Perry continued as Cleveland's staff ace until 1975. He went 70–57 during his time in Cleveland, but the team never finished above 4th place. He started four consecutive Opening Day games for the team, the first Indians pitcher to do so since Bob Feller from 1946-49. Perry accounted for 39% of all Cleveland wins during his tenure. Tensions between him and player-manager Frank Robinson led to Perry's trade to Texas in June 1975. Gaylord Perry remained as Cleveland's last 20-game winner (21 wins in 1974), until Cliff Lee in 2008.

Texas Rangers (1975–77)

On June 13, 1975, at the start of a three-game series with the Texas Rangers, the Indians traded Perry to the Rangers in exchange for pitchers Jim Bibby, Jackie Brown, and Rick Waits. Perry was feuding with Indians player/manager Frank Robinson.[13] Perry would win nearly 80 more games in his career than the three combined. With the Rangers, Perry formed a one-two punch with Ferguson Jenkins, with Perry earning 12 wins, and Jenkins 11, during the remainder of 1975. However, the Rangers, who had finished 2nd in the AL West in 1974, slipped to 3rd place that year.

The next year, with Jenkins moving to Boston, the 37-year-old Perry became the staff ace, winning 15 games against 14 defeats. The Rangers, however, slipped to 4th place in the AL West. But then, in 1977, the Rangers surged to 2nd place in the AL West, winning 94 games, a total that the franchise would not surpass until 1999. Perry again won 15 games, this time against only 12 defeats, in a rotation that included double-digit winners Doyle Alexander, Bert Blyleven, and Dock Ellis.

San Diego Padres (1978–79)

Before the 1978 season San Diego acquired Perry 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's 21 wins in 1978 accounted for 25% of the club's victories all year long, and he became the first pitcher to win Cy Young Awards in both leagues. In this season he became the third pitcher to strike out 3,000 batters, accomplishing the feat two weeks after his 40th birthday.[14]

In 1979, Perry posted a 3.05 ERA and a 12–11 record before quitting the team on September 5, saying he would retire unless the club traded him back to Texas.[15] The Padres traded Perry to the Texas Rangers on February 15, 1980.[14]

Texas Rangers/New York Yankees (1980)

In 1980, Perry posted a 6–9 record and 3.43 ERA in 24 games with Texas before being traded to the Yankees on August 13, 1980 for minor leaguers Ken Clay and a player to be named later (Marvin Thompson).[16] Many Yankees players had complained about Perry during his stints with the Rangers, and the club even used a special camera team to monitor his movements during one of his starts at Yankee Stadium.[17] Perry finished the season with a 4–4 record for the Yankees.[18]

Atlanta Braves (1981)

Perry's contract was up after the 1980 season and he signed a one-year, $300,000 contract with the Atlanta Braves.[19] During the strike-shortened 1981 season, Perry, the oldest player at the time in Major League baseball, started 23 games (150.7 innings) and had an 8–9 record.[18] The Braves released Perry after the season, leaving him three victories short of 300.[4]

Seattle Mariners/Kansas City Royals (1982–83)

After being released by the Braves, Perry was unable to find interest from any clubs, and missed his first spring training in 23 years.[4]

He eventually signed with the Seattle Mariners, where he acquired the nickname "Ancient Mariner,"[20] and won his 300th game on May 6, 1982, the first pitcher to win 300 since Early Wynn did so in 1963. On August 23 of that year, he was ejected from a game against the Boston Red Sox for doctoring the ball, and given a 10-day suspension. It was the second time Perry had been ejected in his entire career, and it was his first ejection for ball doctoring.[6]

After starting the 1983 season 3–10, Perry was designated for assignment by Seattle on June 26 and the Kansas City Royals picked him on a waiver claim 10 days later.[21] In August, Perry became the third pitcher in history to record 3,500 strikeouts.[22] In the final months of the season, Perry experimented with a submarine delivery for the first time in his career and took a no-hitter into the eighth inning against the first-place Baltimore Orioles on August 19.[23]

Also 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. Also in 1983, Perry was involved in the Pine Tar Game against the New York Yankees. The game originally ended when the umpires called Brett out for too much pine tar on his bat, negating his home run and drawing a vehement protest from him and the Royals. Perry absconded with Brett's bat and gave it to a bat boy so he could hide it in the clubhouse, only to be caught by Joe Brinkman. When the Royals won the protest, Perry was retroactively ejected for doing this. It would be the last ejection of his career.

He announced his retirement on September 23, 1983.

Post-playing career

Gaylord Perry
Perry in 2011.

Perry retired in 1983 after pitching for eight teams (the San Francisco Giants, Cleveland Indians, Texas Rangers (twice), San Diego Padres, New York Yankees, Atlanta Braves, Seattle Mariners and Kansas City Royals).

Perry retired to his 500-acre (2.0 km2) farm in Martin County, North Carolina where he grew tobacco and peanuts, but had to file for bankruptcy in 1986. He briefly worked for Fiesta Foods as a sales manager,[24] and later in the year Limestone College in Gaffney, South Carolina chose Perry to be the College's first baseball coach. Perry was there until 1991 when he retired.[25] and later moved to Spruce Pine, North Carolina.[26]

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.

Perry supported the Republican Party, campaigned for Jesse Helms and contemplated a bid for Congress himself in 1986.[27]

On July 23, 2005 the San Francisco Giants retired Perry's uniform number 36.[28]

Perry was inducted into the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame on March 9, 2009.[29]

He was honored on April 9, 2011 at AT&T Park with a 2010 World Series ring along with other San Francisco Giants greats Willie McCovey, Orlando Cepeda, and Willie Mays. Of the four, only Mays, as a member of the 1954 team, had previously received a World Series ring while playing for the Giants. He was honored again on April 18, 2015 at AT&T Park with a 2014 World Series ring along with Mays, McCovey, Cepeda, and Juan Marichal.


SFGiants 36
Gaylord Perry's number 36 was retired by the San Francisco Giants in 2005.

Bill James lists Perry as having the 10th best career of any right-handed starting pitcher, and the 50th greatest player at any position.[30] In 1999, The Sporting News placed Perry at number 97 on its list of "The Sporting News list of Baseball's 100 Greatest Players."[31]

Pitching statistics

Perry is one of six pitchers to win the Cy Young Award in both the American and National League (Pedro Martínez, Roger Clemens, Randy Johnson, Roy Halladay, and Max Scherzer being the others). He held the record for most consecutive 15-win seasons 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).

Personal life

Perry's wife, Blanche Manning Perry, died on September 11, 1987 when a car ran a stop sign and hit her car broadside on U.S. Route 27 in Lake Wales, Florida.[32] Perry has three daughters. Perry had one son, Gaylord Jackson "Jack" Perry, Jr. He died of leukemia in 2005. His nephew, Chris, is a professional golfer who has won a tournament on the PGA Tour.

See also


  1. ^ Light, Jonathon (2005). "Perry, Gaylord". The Cultural Encyclopedia of Baseball. p. 699.
  2. ^ Perry, Gaylord; Sudyk, Bob (1974). Me and the Spitter. New York: Saturday Review Pess. ISBN 0-841-50299-4.
  3. ^ a b James, Bill (2001). The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0-7432-2722-3.
  4. ^ a b c Berkow, Ira (March 1, 1982). "Gaylord Perry: The Lonely Quest For Victory No. 300". The New York Times.
  5. ^ Saracena, Joe (June 19, 2003). "Clemens should save pitches for mound, not Hall of Fame". USA Today.
  6. ^ a b "SPORTS PEOPLE; More on the Perry Case". The New York Times. August 26, 1982.
  7. ^ "California Angels 3, Seattle Mariners 1". Retrosheet. Retrosheet. Retrieved 24 July 2018.
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ a b c MacKay, Joe (2003). The Great Shutout Pitchers: Twenty Profiles of a Vanishing Breed. McFarland & Company. pp. 177–178. ISBN 0-7864-1676-9.
  10. ^ a b MacKay, 179
  11. ^ "Moon Shot". July 20, 2005. Retrieved May 8, 2011.
  12. ^ MacKay, 180
  13. ^ "Gaylord Perry | SABR". Retrieved March 27, 2013.
  14. ^ a b Naiman, Joe; Porter, David (2003). "Gaylord Perry". The San Diego Padres Encyclopedia. Sports Publishing LLC. p. 296. ISBN 978-1-58261-058-0.
  15. ^ "Gaylord Perry leaves Padres". The Globe and Mail. September 6, 1979.
  16. ^ "Yanks Lose To White Sox, 4–1; Perry Obtained From Rangers". The New York Times. August 13, 1980.
  17. ^ Gross, Jane (August 15, 1980). "Yanks Greet Perry, A Venerable Newcomer". The New York Times.
  18. ^ a b "Gaylord Perry statistics". Baseball Reference. Retrieved April 20, 2008.
  19. ^ "Agreement With Perry, 42, Is Confirmed by Braves". Associated Press. January 8, 1981.
  20. ^ "SPORTS PEOPLE; Quest for No.300". The New York Times. April 30, 1982. pp. 31A.
  21. ^ "Baseball Roundup". The Globe and Mail. July 6, 1983.
  22. ^ "Perry Ends His Career After 21 Years, 314 Wins". The Washington Post. September 23, 1983.
  23. ^ Boswell, Thomas (October 1, 1983). "Three Great Careers Ending, and an Era". The Washington Post.
  24. ^ Trott, William C. (August 18, 1986). "FROM BASEBALL TO BANKRUPTCY". United Press International.
  25. ^ Limestone College | Template Archived February 27, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  26. ^ Gaylord Perry (1938 - ) - North Carolina History Project Retrieved 2018-07-23.
  27. ^ ""You can't eat and farm too" – Gaylord Perry". United Press International. August 13, 1986.
  28. ^ "Padres Acquire Randa From the Reds". The Washington Post. July 24, 2005.
  29. ^ Crumpacker, John (March 10, 2009). "Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame Inductions". San Francisco Chronicle.
  30. ^ James, p.426, 448–9
  31. ^ "Baseball's 100 Greatest Players". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved July 8, 2017.
  32. ^ "Wife of Gaylord Perry killed in wreck". Associated Press. September 11, 1987.

External links

Preceded by
George Culver
No-hitter pitcher
September 17, 1968
Succeeded by
Ray Washburn
Preceded by
Juan Marichal
Major League Player of the Month
June 1966
Succeeded by
Mike Shannon
Preceded by
Floyd Bannister
Opening Day starting pitcher
for the Seattle Mariners

Succeeded by
Mike Moore
1971 National League Championship Series

The 1971 National League Championship Series was a best-of-five series that pitted the East Division champion Pittsburgh Pirates against the West Division champion San Francisco Giants. The Pirates won the Series three games to one and won the 1971 World Series against the Baltimore Orioles. The Giants did not return to the postseason until 1987.

This was the third National League Championship Series in all. It was the first League Championship Series in either league that was not a sweep for the winning team (Baltimore swept Oakland in the 1971 ALCS).

1972 Cleveland Indians season

The 1972 Cleveland Indians season was the 72nd in franchise history. The team finished fifth in the American League East with a record of 72–86, 14 games behind the Detroit Tigers.

1974 Cleveland Indians season

The 1974 Cleveland Indians season was the team's 74th season in Major League Baseball. It involved the Indians competing in the American League East, where they finished fourth with a record of 77–85.

1974 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1974 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 45th playing of the midsummer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 23, 1974, at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania the home of the Pittsburgh Pirates of the National League. The game resulted in the National League defeating the American League 7–2.

This marked the third time the Pirates had been host for the All-Star Game (the first two having been in 1944 and the first game in 1959). This would be the first of two times that the game would be played at Three Rivers Stadium, with the stadium hosting again in 1994.

1975 Cleveland Indians season

The 1975 Cleveland Indians season was a season in American baseball. It involved the Indians competing in the American League East, where they finished fourth with a record of 79–80.

1975 Texas Rangers season

The 1975 Texas Rangers season involved the Rangers finishing 3rd in the American League West with a record of 79 wins and 83 losses. The team hit a major league-leading five grand slams.

1978 San Diego Padres season

The 1978 San Diego Padres season was the tenth in franchise history. The team finished in fourth place in the National League West with a record of 84-78, 11 games behind the first-place Los Angeles Dodgers. This was the Padres' first winning season in franchise history.

1980 Texas Rangers season

The Texas Rangers 1980 season involved the Rangers finishing 4th in the American League west with a record of 76 wins and 85 losses.

1981 Atlanta Braves season

The 1981 Atlanta Braves season was the 16th in Atlanta and the 111th overall.

1982 Seattle Mariners season

The Seattle Mariners 1982 season was their sixth since the franchise creation, and ended the season finishing 4th in the American League West with a record of 76–86 (.469).

1983 Kansas City Royals season

The 1983 Kansas City Royals season was a season in American baseball. It involved the Royals finishing 2nd in the American League West with a record of 79 wins and 83 losses.

1983 Seattle Mariners season

The Seattle Mariners 1983 season was their seventh since the franchise creation, and ended the season finishing 7th in the American League West with a record of 60–102 (.370).

1991 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting

Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 1991 followed the system in place since 1978.

The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voted by mail to select from recent major league players and elected three, Rod Carew, Ferguson Jenkins, and Gaylord Perry.

The Veterans Committee met in closed sessions to consider older major league players as well as managers, umpires, executives, and figures from the Negro Leagues.

It selected two, Tony Lazzeri and Bill Veeck.

300 win club

In Major League Baseball, the 300 win club is the group of pitchers who have won 300 or more games. Twenty-four pitchers have reached this milestone. The New York Gothams/Giants/San Francisco Giants are the only franchise to see three players reach the milestone while on their roster: those players are Mickey Welch, Christy Mathewson, and Randy Johnson. Early in the history of professional baseball, many of the rules favored the pitcher over the batter; the distance pitchers threw to home plate was shorter than today, and pitchers were able to use foreign substances to alter the direction of the ball. The first player to win 300 games was Pud Galvin in 1888. Seven pitchers recorded all or the majority of their career wins in the 19th century: Galvin, Cy Young, Kid Nichols, Tim Keefe, John Clarkson, Charley Radbourn, and Mickey Welch. Four more pitchers joined the club in the first quarter of the 20th century: Christy Mathewson, Walter Johnson, Eddie Plank, and Grover Cleveland Alexander. Young is the all-time leader in wins with 511, a mark that is considered unbreakable. If a modern-day pitcher won 20 games per season for 25 seasons, he would still be 11 games short of Young's mark.

Only three pitchers, Lefty Grove, Warren Spahn, and Early Wynn, joined the 300 win club between 1924 and 1982, which may be explained by a number of factors: the abolition of the spitball, World War II military service, such as Bob Feller's, and the growing importance of the home run in the game. As the home run became commonplace, the physical and mental demands on pitchers dramatically increased, which led to the use of a four-man starting rotation. Between 1982 and 1990, the 300 win club gained six members: Gaylord Perry, Phil Niekro, Steve Carlton, Nolan Ryan, Don Sutton and Tom Seaver. These pitchers benefited from the increased use of specialized relief pitchers, an expanded strike zone, and new stadiums, including Shea Stadium, Dodger Stadium and the Astrodome, that were pitcher's parks, which suppressed offensive production. Also, the increasing sophistication of training methods and sports medicine, such as Tommy John surgery, allowed players to maintain a high competitive level for a longer time. Randy Johnson, for example, won more games in his 40s than he did in his 20s.Since 1990, only four pitchers have joined the 300 win club: Roger Clemens, Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and Johnson. Changes in the game in the last decade of the 20th century have made attaining 300 career wins difficult, perhaps more so than during the mid 20th century. The four-man starting rotation has given way to a five-man rotation, which gives starting pitchers fewer chances to pick up wins. No pitcher reached 20 wins in a non strike-shortened year for the first time in 2006; this was repeated in 2009 and 2017.Recording 300 career wins has been seen as a guaranteed admission to the Baseball Hall of Fame. All pitchers with 300 wins have been elected to the Hall of Fame except for Clemens, who received only half of the vote total needed for induction in his first appearance on the Hall of Fame ballot in 2013 and lost votes from that total in 2014. Clemens' future election is seen as uncertain because of his alleged links to use of performance-enhancing drugs. To be eligible for the Hall of Fame, a player must have "been retired five seasons" or deceased for at least six months, Many observers expect the club to gain few, if any, members in the foreseeable future. Ten members of the 300 win club are also members of the 3,000 strikeout club.

Cy Young Award

The Cy Young Award is given annually to the best pitchers in Major League Baseball (MLB), one each for the American League (AL) and National League (NL). The award was first introduced in 1956 by Baseball Commissioner Ford Frick in honor of Hall of Fame pitcher Cy Young, who died in 1955. The award was originally given to the single best pitcher in the major leagues, but in 1967, after the retirement of Frick, the award was given to one pitcher in each league.Each league's award is voted on by members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, with one representative from each team. As of the 2010 season, each voter places a vote for first, second, third, fourth and fifth place among the pitchers of each league. The formula used to calculate the final scores is a weighted sum of the votes. The pitcher with the highest score in each league wins the award. If two pitchers receive the same number of votes, the award is shared. The current formula started in the 2010 season. Before that, dating back to 1970, writers voted for three pitchers, with the formula of 5 points for a first place vote, 3 for a second place vote and 1 for a third place vote. Prior to 1970, writers only voted for the best pitcher and used a formula of one point per vote.

Dennis Rasmussen (baseball)

Dennis Lee Rasmussen (born April 18, 1959) is a former starting pitcher for Major League Baseball's San Diego Padres (1983 and 1988–91), New York Yankees (1984–87), Cincinnati Reds (1987–88), Chicago Cubs (1992) and Kansas City Royals (1992–93 and 1995). He batted and threw left-handed.

In 1986, pitching for the New York Yankees, had his best season finishing 18-6 with a batting average against of .217 which was 2nd best in the AL.

In 1988, his 14-4 record with the Padres tied him with Gaylord Perry for the team single season Won-Loss record (.778).

In 1990, he led the National League in Home Runs Allowed with 28.

In a 12-season career, Rasmussen posted a 91-77 record with 835 strikeouts and a 4.15 ERA in 1460-2/3 innings pitched.

In a San Diego Padres telecast on April 30, 2007, color commentator Mark Grant mentioned that former player and scout Pat Dobson nicknamed Rasmussen "Count Full Count" due to him frequently getting opposing batters into full counts.

Don Robinson (baseball)

Don Allen "Donnie" Robinson (born June 8, 1957), is a former Major League Baseball pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates, San Francisco Giants, California Angels, and Philadelphia Phillies from 1978 through 1992. Nicknamed "The Caveman", Robinson's career record was 109–106 with a 3.79 ERA.

In 1978, as a 21 year-old rookie, Robinson won 14 wins with 6 losses with a 3.47 ERA. His won-loss percentage was second to NL Cy Young Award winner Gaylord Perry. Robinson was named The Sporting News NL Rookie Pitcher of the Year and was third in overall NL Rookie of the Year. He finished eighth in the Cy Young Award contest.

The next year, he went 8-8 with a 3.87 ERA. He also pitched in six postseason games, winning two and helping the Pirates to the 1979 World Series championship.

Robinson was regarded as one of the best-hitting pitchers during his time, winning three Silver Slugger Awards in 1982, 1989, and 1990. In 1990, Robinson became the first pitcher to hit a pinch-hit home run since 1971 against the San Diego Padres. He hit 13 home runs in his career. He compiled a .231 batting average (146-631) with 47 runs and 69 RBI.

Robinson was the recipient of the Hutch Award in 1984. On April 18, 1987, he gave up Mike Schmidt's 500th career home run. In 1990, pitching for the Giants, he lost the first ever no-hitter at Veteran's Stadium to the Phillies' Terry Mulholland, 6–0.

He made the World Series again in 1989, winning Game 3 of the NLCS against the Chicago Cubs to help the Giants get there. Robinson enjoyed a renaissance with the Giants: from 1987 to 1991, he was 42-33 with a 3.56, and started a majority of his 170 games with them.

Robinson's parents, Donald and Priscilla Robinson, reside in the city of Kenova, West Virginia, where Robinson serves on the city council.

Jim Perry (baseball)

James Evan Perry, Jr. (born October 30, 1935) is an American former Major League Baseball pitcher. He pitched from 1959–1975 for four teams. During a 17-year baseball career, Perry compiled 215 wins, 1,576 strikeouts, and a 3.45 earned run average.

List of Cleveland Indians Opening Day starting pitchers

The Cleveland Indians are a Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise based in Cleveland, Ohio. They play in the American League Central division. The first game of the new baseball season is played on Opening Day, and being named the starter that day is an honor, which is often given to the player who is expected to lead the pitching staff that season, though there are various strategic reasons why a team's best pitcher might not start on Opening Day. Since joining the league in 1901, the Indians have used 58 different Opening Day starting pitchers which includes the Opening Day starting pitchers from the Bluebirds and the Naps. They have a record of 58 wins and 54 losses in their Opening Day games.The Indians have played in three different home ball parks, League Park from 1901 through 1946, Cleveland Stadium from 1932 to 1993, and Progressive Field since 1994. From 1934 through 1946 some games were played at League Park and some at Cleveland Stadium. They had a record of 11 wins and 4 losses in Opening Day games at League Park, 9 wins and 13 losses at Cleveland Stadium and 2 wins and 4 losses at Progressive Field, for a total home record in Opening Day games of 22 wins and 21 losses. Their record in Opening Day away games is 35 wins and 35 losses.Bob Feller has the most Opening Day starts for the Indians, with seven. Stan Coveleski had six Opening Day starts for the Indians, Bob Lemon and CC Sabathia each had five Opening Day starts, and Addie Joss, Willie Mitchell, Gaylord Perry and Charles Nagy each had four. Several Baseball Hall of Famers have made Opening Day starts for the Indians, including Feller, Coveleski, Lemon, Joss, Gaylord Perry, Dennis Eckersley and Early Wynn. Brothers Jim Perry and Gaylord Perry each made Opening Day starts for the Indians. Jim Perry started on Opening Day in 1961 and Gaylord Perry made Opening Day starts in 1972, 1973, 1974 and 1975.The Indians have played in the World Series six times. They won in 1920 and 1948, and lost in 1954, 1995, 1997, and 2016. Coveleski was the Opening Day starting pitcher in 1920, Feller in 1948, Wynn in 1954, Dennis Martínez in 1995, Nagy in 1997, and Corey Kluber. The Indians are five and one in Opening Day games in those seasons, with the only loss coming in 2016. The Indians and the Toronto Blue Jays currently hold the record for the longest Opening Day game in Major League history. They set that record on Opening Day 2012, when the game lasted 16 innings. This broke the previous record of 15 innings between the Indians and the Detroit Tigers in 1960.

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