Gaffney, SC ( Associated Press) – Hall of Famer and two-time Cy Young Award winner Gaylord Perry died Thursday. He was 84 years old.
Cherokee County Coroner Dennis Fowler said without giving details that Perry, who mastered spitball and baseball stories, died at his home in Gaffney around 5 a.m.
A statement from the Perry family noted that the former baseball player “passed away peacefully at home after a brief illness.”
Originally from Williamston, South Carolina, Perry made history as the first player to win the Cy Young Award in both leagues, with Cleveland in 1972 after a 24–16 season and San Diego in 1978, when he had a record 21. Was -6.
It was his last campaign with more than 20 wins, just after his 40th birthday.
“Before I won my second Cy Young, I thought I was too old. I didn’t think the reporters would vote for me,” Perry said in an article on the Hall of Fame website. “However, they voted for my performance, so I won.”
Rob Manfred, commissioner of Major League Baseball, said, “Gaylord Perry was a consistent workhorse and memorable figure throughout his Hall of Fame career.”
Manfred said, “He will be remembered as one of the most accomplished players on the San Francisco Giants … and he remained a popular companion and friend for the rest of his life.”
The Giants drafted Perry and kept him in their ranks for 10 seasons, along with Giants teammates such as Hall of Famer Willie Mays, who Thursday described him as “a good guy, a good player and a great player.”
“Goodbye, old fellow,” added May.
Juan Marichal remembered Perry as “smart, funny and kind to everyone in the clubhouse”.
“When he spoke, you listened,” said the Dominican. “During our 10 seasons together in the Giants rotation, we combined to record 369 complete games, more than any other pair on a Major League Baseball team. I want to thank Gaylord for his love of baseball, his family, and his farm. And will always remember for dedication.
Perry was a five-time All-Star, pitching for eight major league teams from 1962 to 1983. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1991.
In his career, he went 314–255, finishing with 3,534 strikeouts and employing a pitching style in which at least many hitters believed the balls appeared to be laced with substances.