Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A to Z, The Orioles' Legacy: Jim Palmer

Player: Jim Palmer
Years of Service: 20 (1965-84)
Position: Pitcher

Photo via Baltimore Sports Then and Now

By nearly any measure, Jim Palmer is one of the best starting pitchers in Major League history. Where do you start? Three Cy Youngs, six All-Star games, four Gold Gloves, three World Series titles in three different decades, eight-time 20-game winner, two-time league ERA champ, 2,212 career strikeouts, first-ballot Hall-of-Famer, etc., etc., etc. Every ace pitcher who has come through the organization since has contended with the misfortune of inevitable comparison to Palmer and none has come anywhere close.

By the time I was old enough to pay attention, Palmer was just as famous for his Jockey ads as for his on-field heroics. Scantily clad male athletes are hardly surprising anymore but Palmer was the pioneer.

Image via flickr

I have always assumed that Palmer was at least part of the inspiration for Sam Malone of Cheers in light of the fact that Ted Danson looks a lot like him, though I've never actually seen or heard any concrete proof of that.

Photo via Piece of Mind


For each letter of the A to Z Challenge, I will feature one player from Baltimore Orioles/St. Louis Browns history. I hope you will join me. I hope you'll also check out the other 1200+ blogs participating. See the full list at Tossing It Out.


  1. Originally the character was supposed to be a former football player. Once Danson was cast, they switched sports.

  2. Right! In fact, Fred Dryer, the former LA Ram defensive end, was considered for the part, right? Thank goodness they chose Danson, though "Hunter" was a decent show, too. Nonetheless, I find the Palmer/Danson resemblance uncanny.