Jim Palmer (born October 15, 1945) is a retired American right-handed pitcher…..who played all of his 19 years in Major League Baseball (MLB) with the Baltimore Orioles from 1965 – 67 and 1969 – 84)…..and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1990.
Jim Palmer won 186 games in the 1970’s….which was the most wins in that decade by any MLB pitcher. He also won at least twenty games in each of eight seasons….while receiving three Cy Young Awards….and four Gold Gloves during the decade. His 268 career victories are currently an Orioles record. A six-time American League (AL) All-Star…. he was also one of the rare pitchers who never allowed a grand slam in any major league contest.
Palmer appeared in the postseason eight times….and was a vital member of three World Series Champions….six AL pennant winners….and seven Eastern Division titleholders. He is the only pitcher in the history of the Fall Classic with a win in each of three decades. He is also the youngest to pitch a complete-game shutout in a World Series….by doing so nine days before his 21st birthday in 1966. He was one of the starters on the last rotation to feature four 20-game winners in a single season in 1971.
Since his retirement as an active player in 1984, Palmer has worked as a color commentator on telecasts of MLB games for ABC and ESPN….and for the Orioles on Home Team Sports (HTS), Comcast SportsNet (CSN) Mid-Atlantic and the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN). He has also been a popular spokesman, most famously for Jockey International for almost twenty years. He was nicknamed Cakes in the 1960s because of his habit of eating pancakes for breakfast on the days he pitched.
Earl Weaver (August 14, 1930 – January 19, 2013) was an American professional baseball player….Hall of Fame Major League manager….author and television broadcaster….who after playing in minor league baseball, he retired without playing in Major League Baseball (MLB)….and became a minor league manager…..which was followed by 17 years of managing in the Major Leagues with the Baltimore Orioles from 1968 – 82 and from 1985 – 86.
Weaver’s style of managing was summed up in his quote…. “pitching, defense, and the three-run homer.”…..as he did not believe in placing emphasis on “small ball” tactics such as stolen bases, hit and run plays or sacrifice bunts. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1996.
Weaver was ejected from games some 98 times during the regular season….and several more times during post-season play. He was ejected from both games in a doubleheader three times….plus, twice he was ejected from games before they even started….with both times by Ron Luciano. Luciano alone ejected him from all four games of a minor-league series and eight games in the majors.
He also received four multiple-game suspensions…..and was well known for the humor that often accompanied his ejections. During one particular tirade with an umpire, Weaver headed to the dugout screaming, “I’m going to check the rule-book on that” to which the umpire replied, “Here, use mine.” Weaver shot back, “That’s no good—I can’t read Braille.”He once told an umpire that he could appear on What’s My Line? wearing his mask, chest protector and ball/strike indicator and still nobody would guess he was an umpire.
Weaver had a penchant for kicking dirt on umpires, and for turning his cap backwards whenever he sparred with umpires in order to get as close to them as possible without actually touching them. His rivalry with Luciano was legendary….to the point where the AL rearranged umpiring schedules for an entire year so that Luciano would not work Orioles games. A year later on August 26, 1979, in the third inning of the opener of an Orioles-White Sox doubleheader at Comiskey Park….Luciano ejected Weaver….who then publicly questioned Luciano’s “integrity” and received a three-game suspension….and still, Weaver had respect for Luciano, calling him “one of the few umpires that people have paid their way into the park to see.”
Earl Weaver was Jim Palmer’s manager for virtually his entire career…..and both of these Baltimore O’s were HEROES HALL OF FAMERS AND FAN FAVORITES….who deserve their place in history for the incredible contributions they have made to the game of baseball.