Jim PalmerJames Alvin Palmer
Inducted to the Hall of Fame in: 1990
Primary team: Baltimore Orioles AL
Primary position: Pitcher
“When you see an easy thrower like him, you get lulled into believing that the ball is coming up there easy,” Angels infielder Dave Chalk once said of Jim Palmer. “It’s not. It’s coming up there hard and doing all kinds of things. It’s amazing how quick the ball gets to you.”
Though UCLA offered him a basketball scholarship, Palmer chose instead to sign with the Orioles in 1963. Palmer made his major league debut age 19 in 1965 and hit a home run in his first career win. The following season Palmer became the youngest pitcher in major league history to throw a complete-game shutout in the World Series, beating Dodgers left-hander Sandy Koufax 6-0 in Game Two in a series the Orioles would go on to sweep for their first World Series victory in franchise history.
Palmer was one of baseball’s premier pitchers in the 1970s, throwing more innings and recording more wins than any other American League pitcher during that decade. Palmer, who spent his entire 19-year career with the Orioles, was a three-time AL Cy Young award winner and finished in the top five among Cy Young voters eight times. Palmer was the runner up to Reggie Jackson for MVP in 1973, when he led a starting rotation that included Mike Cuellar, Dave McNally and Doyle Alexander. More than just a terrific pitcher, Palmer also fielded his position well, collecting four Gold Glove Awards.
A six-time all-star, Palmer was an excellent postseason pitcher who pitched in six World Series and won three rings, going 8-3, 2.61 between the World Series and the ALCS. When Palmer beat the Phillies in Game 3 of the 1983 World Series, he became the first pitcher in major league history to win a World Series game in three different decades. He also threw a no-hitter against Oakland in 1969 and, remarkably, never surrendered a grand slam in his entire career.
Injuries hampered Palmer throughout his career, though he still led the AL in innings pitched four times and complete games once. Palmer threw the ball with a smooth, compact delivery and a high leg kick that helped provide deception, as the ball seemed to jump out of his hand toward home plate.
Year Inducted: 1990
Primary Team: Baltimore Orioles AL
Position Played: Pitcher
Birth place: New York, New York
Birth year: 1945
Baltimore Orioles AL (1965-1984)
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