GAFFNEY, S.C. — Master of the spitball, two-time Cy Young Award winner and Hall of Fame pitcher, Gaylord Perry has died.
He was 84.
Perry died at his home in Gaffney, South Carolina on Thursday morning. The Cherokee County coroner said the cause of death was natural but didn’t give any details, The Associated Press reported.
Perry made history by winning the Cy Young Award in both leagues — first in Cleveland in 1972 and again in San Diego in 1978.
The pitcher started his career with the San Francisco Giants but after 10 years, moved to Cleveland where he went 24-16 in his first season in Ohio. When Perry moved to San Francisco, he went 21-6 in his first season with the Padres, which ended up being his third and final 20-win season, the AP reported.
Perry played for eight major-league teams from 1962 through 1983. He was also a five-time All-Star, elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1991 with a 77.2% vote, Fox News reported.
The AP reported Perry was famous for either doctoring baseballs or making batters think that he did, ending his career 314-255 with 3,554 strikeouts.
Perry said he started using a spitball in 1962 to get an edge, learning the technique from Bob Shaw. He first threw it against the New York Mets in 1964 where he pitched 10 innings without giving up a run. He stopped using it in 1968 after the MLB ruled that pitchers could not touch their mouths before touching the baseball, the AP reported.
After his 22-year MLB career, Perry founded the Limestone College baseball program and was the coach for the first three years, Fox News reported.