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This may sound ridiculous, given that he's 16-years older than I am, but Jim Palmer was actually somewhat *after* my time as a baseball fanatic (at ages 7-12, I knew more about baseball than I know now, and I was something of a prodigy) - Palmer really didn't hit his stride until halfway through "my prime."

I had always thought that he was something of a prima donna, but after watching the video I'm going to present to you, I think I was wrong - he had a very difficult childhood, having been adopted at birth, having lost his beloved adoptive father, Mo Wiesen, at age 9, and having gone from being named Jim Wiesen to Jim Palmer when his beloved mother, Polly Wiesen, married actor Max Palmer in 1956 - this child had three fathers by the time he was eleven!

And he had legitimate, career-threatening injury problems from 1967 through 1969 - I always thought he was just a self-pampering person, but I was dead wrong - if you watch this video, you'll see just how much he loved his three parents, both adoptive-, and step-; he never knew his biological parents, but he isn't affected by that in the video (titled, "Jim Palmer - The Making of a Hall of Famer,," and narrated by legendary Orioles broadcaster, Chuck Thompson).

He was an All-State athlete in three sports, and yes, he is somewhat cocky, and maybe even a bit "self-aware" when it comes to his athletic talent (and his looks don't exactly hurt), but given the gifts he had, he comes across, primarily, as a loving, devoted son to me - I never knew!

In Game 2 of the 1966 World Series, Jim Palmer pitched a four-hit shutout against Sandy Koufax, in what was to be Koufax's final game ever. In the process, the 20-year-old Palmer became the youngest person ever to pitch a shutout in a World Series game - a record which stands to this very day.

On Aug 13, 1969, a day after I turned 8-years old, Palmer pitched his only no-hitter: an "ugly" game, as he puts it, with 11 strikeouts and *9* walks! But it was good enough for a no-no against the expansion Kansas City Royals (one of four expansion teams in 1969, the very first year of the League Championship Series (the Royals would exact their revenge in the 2014 ALCS)).

Palmer is also the only pitcher ever to win a World Series game in three different decades, and he did it the hard way - beginning in 1966, and ending in 1983.

I'm so glad I watched this video - I always respected Palmer; now, I really, really like him as well.

 

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Don:

l watched him through the 70’s into the early 80’s and for a period saw him pitch a good bit at home. Didn’t see him in his first few years with his great start then some injury years.  Complex person with a variety of elements including in no particular order:

1. Somewhat of a cocky prima donna personality often depicted that way in the press:

2 Fascinating episodes of contention with his great manager, the late Earl Weaver, who also had a strong personality- so they clashed at times.

3. Remarkably handsome man- a male model look.  Cripes he modeled men’s briefs

4.  His record in the 70’s was as good as any pitcher in that decade or better.

5. Yes he probably played with the greatest  baseball defense ever during the 60’s and into the first half of the 70’s so that made his won loss and ERA better than had he been with other teams.

6. Even as he ranks among the best or top 2 or 3 pitchers of the 70’s he more often than not was not overpowering which simply means he pitched through many innings with men on base and in most cases he got out of innings without giving up runs.  He was a terrific bear down competitor.  I saw that enough that it stuck in my memory.  He pitched through innings!!!! He also lasted a lot of innings deep into games.  Really great competitor again and again and again. 

7.  He was never as nice a guy as Brooks Robinson but nobody was

8. Certainly one of the more colorful players and personalities on the Orioles.

9. Clearly one of the best Orioles with a dominant record during their best era.

10 Deserving of being in the HOF and as one who did see him pitch during most of his prime it’s cool to know he gets ranked in the upper tier of all pitchers of all time.

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I watched part of that almost hour long video to get some sense of Palmer’s early life.  It appears he and his father  had a great relationship (2nd adoptive) relishing their relationship ever since Jim Palmer was a young lad who came into his life at age nine.  

Having seen Palmer pitch fairly often during the 70’s and a bit in the 80’s what most stuck was his fierce tough competitiveness on the mound which I tried to emphasize in point 6 above.

Palmer was excellent and bore down with men on base.  He pitched through jams.  He hated getting removed from a game: that was evident and exemplified by his famous disputes with Weaver.

As good as Palmer was he was equally competitive.  Dynamite combination.  Impressive to watch over time.  He stunk in ‘74 and finally sat w/ an injury—then came back with great seasons after that.

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On 7/5/2016 at 4:27 PM, TedE said:

And when you go out of your way to argue that Jim Palmer is the most overrated pitcher of all time, what is the point?  Did he run over your dog?  This is the anti-thesis of fandom. It's quantitative chest-thumping.

Goodness, look at the comments in that article - I couldn't finish them.

Palmer was an outstanding pitcher, having more wins than any AL pitcher in the 1970s. 

Yes, the Orioles' defense made him better, but so what? He used that defense to his advantage.

With the same windup and motion, he could throw a high, rising fastball (that caused batters to hit pop-ups), or a pretty devastating sinker (that caused batters to hit weak grounders to the left side of the infield, since they were ahead of the pitch). 

Most overrated pitcher of *all time*? No way. 

Nolan Ryan? Maybe. (I just pulled his name out of thin air (Note: I think Ryan was *great*, but he's certainly not *under*rated.))

I think a pretty good case can be made for Sandy Koufax being the most overrated pitcher in history. He had a 12-year career, and at the midway point, his record was 36-40 (yes, 36-40), and he'd never made an All-Star team. Take away any one of his 25-win seasons - doesn't matter which - and he's not in the Hall of Fame. I'm not saying Koufax wasn't the best pitcher in baseball for 4-5 years (he was); merely that he's regarded as God, and his career was essentially 5-years long: Think, Denny McLain, with one more good season, and without the one, disastrous season. (Interesting trivia: Elroy Face was on that 1968 Tigers team - look at Face's 1959 season).

---

Sandy Koufax (DaveO)

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Jim Palmer never gave up a grand slam.  As I recall he gave up relatively few home runs with any men on base.   I don’t know if he gave up many home runs a few or a medium number per inning but Palmer bore down inning after inning and pitched through all sorts of innings over many years without giving up a lot of runs.

He pitched to win and to keep the other team from scoring.  He didn’t pitch for saber metrics.  He had the best defense in baseball behind him but those stars could not help him if he gave up home runs.

I know about the argument that he is over rated, but frankly he was smart to get hitters to hit it to his teammates.  He had the best defense in the history of baseball.

That article and many comments miss the point

(edited for additional comments). In fact Palmer played for Earl Weaver whose philosophy was something like defense pitching and 3 run home runs— and you will win.  It worked for the Orioles.

Frankly besides no grand slams against Palmer he gave up very very few 3 run home runs.  Palmer pitched smart and won..  That over rated argument is out there, it’s made, but it misses much of what made Palmer great

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2 hours ago, DaveO said:

ARod speaks well of Mike Mussina

I just read an interesting, perhaps somewhat controversial, article about Jim Palmer.

For the record, I think Sandy Koufax is the most overrated pitcher of all time (overrated is not derogatory; I just don't think you can be considered an all-time great with only four outstanding seasons, no matter how outstanding they may have been). Put a piece of paper over those last four seasons, and look at his career: After 8 seasons in a 12-season career, his record was 68-60.

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49 minutes ago, DonRocks said:

I just read an interesting, perhaps somewhat controversial, article about Jim Palmer.

For the record, I think Sandy Koufax is the most overrated pitcher of all time (overrated is not derogatory; I just don't think you can be considered an all-time great with only four outstanding seasons, no matter how outstanding they may have been). Put a piece of paper over those last four seasons, and look at his career: After 8 seasons in a 12-season career, his record was 68-60.

The artical is from 2011.  I recall it.  It’s a terrific article for bibap’s and boobop’s and   bububb’s.   Writers have to write.

I watched Palmer pitch.  From the stands or a tv I can’t tell a curve from a change up to a fast ball.  I don’t know if the pitch is high or low.  I played years of stickball against a quality high school pitcher and couldn’t a hit a damn thing.

Palmer pitched with what must have been the best defense in baseball history, Brooksie, Belanger, and Blair plus other good defensive players.  

Frankly I saw more of the Orioles during their good but not the best team in baseball history: the late 60’s to the beginning of the 70’s.

All I can say is that Palmer bore down got outs and prevented runs.  He was a great pitcher.  Meanwhile writers have to write and bibap’s make for a whole new world of content.  

Meanwhile I disagree with you about Koufax though I frankly didn’t see much of him.  Must be the Jew in he and I.  

An old age and class mate friend and Koufax fan from our youth was at the BB HOF for the first time last summer telling me all about it.  Turns out there were Koufax fans there wearing his uniform.  The guy has a lot of fans from Brooklyn

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