Introducing… Jim Perry

Many Hall of Fame players have had brothers that played at the Major League level.  George Brett had brother Ken, Tony Gwynn’s brother Chris played outfield for the Dodgers and Joe Sewell’s brother Luke had a lengthy career as player and coach.  Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry and his brother Jim make for one the greatest sibling tandems in baseball history: think the Waners on the mound and you’ll have an image of the Perry boys.

Jim enjoyed immediate success at the Major League level, winning a dozen games on a tidy 2.65 ERA for the 1959 Indians.  He finished second to Senators slugger Bob Allison in Rookie of the Year voting.  Although his ERA climbed in his sophomore season Jim still tied for the American League lead in wins and shutouts in the offensive year of 1960.  Offense across the board was up substantially in 1961 and Jim, like many pitchers, struggled in the brawny game that was played that year, but nevertheless made his first All-Star appearance.

Early in the 1963 season Jim was dealt to the Twins for Jack Kralick.  It was in Minnesota where Perry enjoyed his finest years, posting two 20-win seasons and winning a Cy Young Award in the northern state.  Bouncing between the rotation and bullpen in 1965, Jim posted a fine 2.63 ERA on a .632 winning percentage.  Used predominately in the rotation during the 1966 season Perry fashioned an 11-7, 2.54 worksheet during the season.  An adequate strikeout pitcher during his salad years, Jim averaged 0.663 whiffs per inning during the ’66 season; better than Hall of Fame peer Catfish Hunter’s 0.582 average.

Perry had a fine 1968 season–again rotating between starting and relief duties–while posting a terrific 2.27 ERA.  Jim honed his accuracy to  near perfection, issuing a low average of 0.187 walks per inning.  He elevated his game in 1969, posting his first 20-win season.  His winning percentage was a solid .769 and he kept his ERA at a tidy 2.82.  His Twins won their division and Jim pitched in Game 1 of the ALCS but received a no decision against Baltimore. 

Jim’s finest year came in 1970 when he led the AL with 24 victories and 40 starts.  He tied for second in shutouts while making the Twins repeat AL West champions.  For his work, Jim was named the Cy Young Award winner but he failed to halt the Orioles in the ALCS and was denied a shot at the World Series for the second straight year.  Jim followed up his Cy Young season with a 17 win, All-Star season in 1971.

Although his record was of the losing variety in 1972, Jim’s ERA was a respectable 3.35.  He won 14 games in 1973 and then fashioned a fine 17-12, 2.96 worksheet in 1974 before the bottom fell out in 1975.  In his last Major League season, Jim split time with the Indians and A’s at the age of 39.


W 215/L 174/PCT .563/G 630/CG 109/IP 3,287/H 3,127/BB 998/SO 1,576/SHO 32/ERA 3.45


1 comment
  1. brettkiser said:

    The strongest case Perry has for enshrinement are his 200+ career wins. But one must remember that Perry pitched in a pitcher’s era and wasn’t what you’d call dominating. His ERA is fine, but he didn’t have the punch out stuff that the greats of his era had. A very good pitcher, Perry’s HOF chances are modest.

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