Gaylord Perry “doesn’t recall” doctoring baseball

Hall of Fame pitcher Gaylord Perry, who won his 300th game while pitching for the Seattle Mariners, regaled Mariners RBI Club members and season ticket holders today with stories from his playing days.

Perry is in Seattle to throw out tonight’s ceremonial first pitch as part of the Mariners season-long tribute to the club’s 35th Anniversary. He spoke to a standing room only crowd at the Safeco Field Terrace Club at noon today, prodded by former teammate Dave Henderson.

Here are some of the lines that had the crowd laughing:

  • “Don’t throw at a guy who’s going to charge the mound.”
  • On the aerobic training program manager Rene Lachemann introduced in Spring Training 1982 to get the team in shape, “I was watching the teacher most of the time.”
  • On pitching against his brother, Jim: “I pitched two games against my brother. I had to knock him down because he came a little close to Mays (as in Willie). I did not lose to him, as I recall.”
  • On throwing the spitball: “If I gave the hitter the impression I was putting something on it it might help me out. I don’t recall doing it at all.”
  • Perry, who amassed 314 wins in his 22-year MLB career, when asked how he won so many games: “I had Mays, McCovey and Cepeda in the lineup (with the San Francisco Giants). I knew if I could stay in it long enough, I’d win a lot of games.”
  • The “most embarrassing moment of my career”: “Bob Uecker hit a home run off me. When I came back to the bench, my teammates wouldn’t even sit next to me, in case it rubbed off on them.” The sting was eased somewhat when Uecker eventually hit one off Fergie Jenkins, and two off Sandy Koufax, fellow Hall of Famers.

– RH

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