Gaylord pumped some mystery and excitement into baseball, and now he’s gone



TOP OF THE TOWN – Gaylord Perry died today and I’m sad. For me, Gaylord, who pitched for the Seattle Mariners in the 1982 season and part of 1983, was a guy who liked to have a little fun with the game of baseball. He seemed to have a twinkle in his eye that showed me he liked to be disingenuous, especially when it came to the illegal spitball which he was accused to use on his way to a career win total of 314 and Hall of Fame (1991 induction). He’s one of those guys who we all know. The guy who we know is up to something, but not quite sure what it is. Gaylord, I think, got away with letting people believe he was using some illegal substance to doctor the baseball when it’s my belief that was enough to give him an edge without really doctoring the ball. Oh sure, he doctored the ball, but not as much as he was accused of doing. What really sucked me in on him was the time he pulled me aside in the Mariners’ clubhouse and whispering like we were two CIA agents meeting in a dark alley for a nefarious reason, asked me to be a distributor for peanuts he grew on his farm in North Carolina. He even had some packaged and ready to go. I was taken aback by the request and declined his offer. But just the fact he offered was more than enough to think better of him. It was just another one of his mysterious ways and I was enthralled by them. I have a big Leroy Neiman poster of Gaylord hanging in my office. It is not signed by Gaylord (I never liked to ask for autographs), but I treasure it just the same. Gaylord was 43 and way past his baseball expiration date when he signed on with the Mariners during the managerial reign of Rene Lachemann (another character in the parade of them that came through the Mariners). But Gaylord did gain his 300th pitching win on May 6 of 1982 at the Kingdome, a 7-3 victory over the Yankees, when he was with the Mariners (that is the reason for the Neiman poster). Gaylord died at his home in South Carolina. He was 84. … There is a controversy going on now involving Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones. Not that Jones is new to controversies. He’s old-hat at them. This one shows Jones as a 14-year-old with a small mob of white men blocking the passage of black students into a Little Rock, Arkansas school. LeBron James, at a press conference, was very angry that no reporter asked about the Jones’ photo and yet is all over the Kyrie Irving story. I don’t wonder why. I know why. Jones is white and is the head of a professional football franchise that is worth perhaps 5 billion or more and people are afraid to dig deep into the Jones’ story because of his importance the NFL. Jones has never hired a head black coach and just two black assistants,votes Republican and gave $1 million to the 2016 campaign of Trump.  That should tell you all you need to know about Jerry Jones. That’s enough for today. Stay safe.

Be well pal.

Be careful out there.

Have a great day.

You are loved.