Friday, January 25, 2013

Gaylord Perry: Winner or Quitter?

I love the San Diego Padres, but they're not exactly the most successful team in baseball.  In fact, they've never won a World Series.  They've never had a 100 win season (although they've had five 100 loss seasons).  They've never had a batter hit for the cycle (the Marlins are the only other team w/o one).  And they've never had a pitcher throw a no-hitter (however they've been the victims of eight no-hitters).

But they've had a fair share of batting titles (thanks to Tony Gwynn) and Cy Young Award winners.  


One of those Cy Young Award winners is Hall of Famer, Gaylord Perry.

Perry arrived in San Diego exactly thirty-five years ago on January 25th, 1978 in a trade with the Texas Rangers.  It was arguably one of the finest years of his career.  Perry went 21-6 with a 2.73 ERA and represented 25% of the Padres win total that season.


His numbers were good enough to get him 22 out of 24 first place votes for the 1978 Cy Young Award.  He became the first pitcher to win the award in both the American League and National League.  Since then Roy Halladay, Roger Clemens, Pedro Martinez, and Randy Johnson have also accomplished that feat.


Unfortunately, Perry didn't want to play for the Padres.  He pitched his final game for the Padres on Friday, September 3rd, 1979.  A day later, he threatened to retire if they didn't trade him back to the Texas Rangers.  He sat out the rest of the season and on February 15th, 1980 Mr. Perry was granted his wish.

It's a good thing I wasn't a Padres fan back in 70's, because had I been... I probably wouldn't like the guy.

I mean...
How would you feel if there was a player who quit on your favorite team and forced a trade?  Would you still collect his/her cards?

Happy Friday and sayonara!

15 comments:

  1. Great post featuring great cards, and asking a great question. I prefer collecting cards by those players I can appreciate both in integrity as a human as well with their singular playing style. Perry has a lack in one of those departments, while a surplus in another. Being a collector and fan of the Padres, he still seems to find a featured spot in my collection though I agree wholeheartedly with you: had I been alive to witness first hand the events of Perry's separation from the Padres first hand, I'd probably not collect him at all. : /

    Cheers!

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    1. Thanks. I actually didn't know about this Perry story until recently. For all these years, I just accepted that Perry was a Padres legend, who was only around for two years.

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  2. I can answer those questions from real-life experience - a.) I would boo him mercilessly for the rest of his career; b.) NO. (Gary Sheffield)

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    1. I know exactly what you're talking about. Sheffield and the Brew Crew just didn't mix well. It's a shame the guy had so much anger during those years.

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  3. Mike Mussina comes to mind as an Oriole who walked away. I don't hate him as much as I would have had he done it during my days as a serious fan. By 2000 the game and I were still estranged due to the '94 strike.

    But I've mellowed a lot since I was a young fan who bled Orange. I realize it's all about the $$$ and if a guy can better his situation, so be it. I won't collect any more of his cards though.



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    1. Wow... didn't realize Mussina walked away from the Orioles. Actually, when I think of Mussina, I always picture him in his Baltimore uniform. Maybe it's b/c I can't stand the Yankees.

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  4. Although he was never a focus of my collection, I have no problem collecting Manny Ramirez Sox cards.

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    1. I was sort of hoping he'd play for the A's last season, but I didn't like the way he handled the Red Sox or the Dodgers situations. It'll be interesting to see if he'll play in another MLB game.

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  5. The closest I guess I can come is Melky Cabrera, he basically blew off his team without saying goodbye after being caught being a cheater. I do go after his cards as I want a full team set but I won't go after his higher end cards.

    I will say however that as a Sacramento Kings fan, I will not have anything to do with them if they move to Seattle. I don't collect many of their cards but it is kind of related.

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  6. I gave up on Zack Greinke after he gave up on the Royals.

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    1. I don't blame you. As an Athletic and Padres fan, who seem to be constantly rebuilding... it seems like there's always somebody who wants to be traded to a contender.

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  7. The best thing about being old and established is that you can tell everyone to shove off. The teams wanted Perry more than he needed them. He had very little to lose by demanding a trade.

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    1. Yeah... he had the leverage and used it to his advantage. But whether that's cool or not is debatable.

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  8. I guess I'm lucky since my favorite player Dellin Betances isn't in any position to demand a trade (although his 6+ ERA in triple-A & double-A in 2012 is a red flag that he might get traded whether he wants to be traded or not) and my other favorite player Jorge Posada never abandoned the Yankees and hung up his spikes with Yankees pride.
    Although I'd be very shocked and somewhat devastated if Derek Jeter "demanded" to be traded to another team. Imagine all of the headlines and buzz if such a thing were to occur.

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    1. I'd be devastated if Jeter demanded to be traded... and I'm the furthest thing from being a Yankees fan.

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