Monday, May 11, 2009

Gaylord Jackson Perry

In Saturday's (May 9, 2009) San Francisco Chronicle, Bruce Jenkins outdid himself. His article was entitled Who Are We to Judge Baseball's Best? And all I had to see was the name Gaylord Perry.

Because when you think of Gaylord Perry you don't think of the 2 Cy Young Awards -one the year after YOUR San Francisco Giants traded him to the Cleveland Indians for Sudden(ly) Sad Sam McDowell and the other with the San Diego Padres- you think of how he doctored the baseball.

Now if that isn't cheating, what is?

A classic quote involved Gaylord Perry. It may have been Alvin Dark, his manager at the time in the early 1960s with the San Francisco Giants. Dark mentioned, tongue and cheek, that the day Perry hits a home run there will be a 'man on the moon.' Wouldn't you know it, the day there was a man on the moon, Gaylord Perry hit his first major league homer. Perry would hit 6 in his career, so Dark wasn't the sage many may have thought after the remarkable coincidence.

Do you think, because what Gaylord did was allowed in the Dead Ball era, that writers thought it was creative of Gaylord to do what he did? His ability to doctor the ball did aid and abet him in the attaining of very impressive numbers. And 1991 he was voted into Cooperstown, New York with 342 votes of 443 ballots. (You need 75%.)

The use of whatever ointment on the ball vs. on his body or in his body extended Gaylord's career just as long as the steroid users in the 1980s, 1990s and into 2000.

The five time 20-game winner had 314-W 265-L ERA: 3.11 BB: 1379 K's: 3534 CG: 303
Shutouts: 53

Writers didn't have a problem voting Gaylord Perry into the hallowed halls of Cooperstown but Rafael Palmiero (500HR/3000 hits), Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and Barry Bonds have been placed in that gray area of Hatersville by writers for their own personal reasons. Should that, in and of itself, be allowed by one with the power to vote?

Bruce Jenkins has opened a door to the reasoning process that may need to go into how voting for a Hall of Famer needs to be updated. Because some of these players qualify regardless of how they achieved the numbers they finished their careers with.

And let's not forget Pete Rose, was he a cheater (to deceive by trickery) or an insane gambler. (Per Hedley Lamar in Blazing Saddles iterated: This is the bill that will convert the state hospital for the insane into the William J. Le Petomane memorial gambling casino for the insane. Governor Le Petomane: Gentlemen, this bill will be a giant step forward in the treatment of the insane gambler.)

Kevin Marquez