Former Cleveland pitcher and National Baseball Hall of Fame member Gaylord Perry died Thursday morning in Gaffney, S.C., the team announced. He was 84 years old.
Perry’s MLB career spanned 22 seasons, with parts of four coming with Cleveland. In his first year with Cleveland, in 1972, Perry won the American League Cy Young Award, posting a record of 24-16 with a 1.92 ERA in 342⅔ innings, 234 strikeouts and a league-high 29 complete games. There were only 35 complete games in all of Major League Baseball this past season.
Over parts of four seasons with Cleveland, Perry went 70-57 with a 2.88 ERA and twice was named an AL All-Star.
“The Cleveland Guardians family is deeply saddened by the loss of one of the great pitchers in baseball history, Gaylord Perry,” said Bob Dibiasio, Guardians senior vice president of public affairs, in a statement. “We are honored that during Gaylord’s 22 years as a big-league pitcher, four of those were in a Cleveland uniform. He was a cherished member of our Alumni Ambassador program, and loved telling stories when visiting with our fans at Progressive Field. We send our condolences to the entire Perry family, as well as to his many teammates and other organizations impacted by his Hall of Fame career.”
Perry went on to win the 1978 National League Cy Young Award with the San Diego Padres at the age of 39, becoming the first pitcher to win the Cy Young in both leagues. Cleveland didn’t have another Cy Young winner until CC Sabathia in 2007.
Perry’s 3,524 career strikeouts are the eighth most in MLB history. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1991 and the Guardians Hall of Fame in 2012.
Ryan Lewis can be reached at [email protected]. Read more about the Guardians at www.beaconjournal.com/sports/cleveland-guardians. Follow him on Twitter at @ByRyanLewis.