Orioles Ink Palmer


This Week in 1960s Baseball

(August 16, 1963) The Baltimore Orioles today added a future Hall of Fame pitcher to their organization with the free-agent signing of right-hander Jim Palmer.

Jim Palmer won the first of his three Cy Young Awards in 1973. An eight-time 20-game winner, he is the Orioles’ all-time leader in games and innings pitched, wins, shutouts, complete games and strikeouts.

A three-sport star in high school, Palmer signed a $50,000 contract at age 17. He played the 1964 season with Aberdeen in the Class A Northern League, where he was managed by Cal Ripken, Sr. and his teammates included Mark Belanger and Lou Piniella. Palmer was 11-3 with a 2.51 ERA for his first professional club. He also had more walks than innings pitched.

But his performance in 1964 would be enough to convince the Orioles that Palmer was major league ready. He spent the entire 1965 season with the Orioles, going 5-4 as a spot starter and long reliever. He earned a place in the Orioles’ starting rotation in 1966, going 15-10 with a 3.46 ERA and becoming the youngest player to pitch a shutout in the World Series.

Palmer would pitch 19 seasons in the major leagues, all with the Orioles. He would finish his career with a record of 268-152 with a 2.86 ERA. A six-time All-Star, Palmer would win four Gold Gloves and three Cy Young Awards.

He would be inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1990.



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