Gaylord Perry, former Giants pitcher, passes away at age 84

Famed Giants pitcher Gaylord Perry passes away at age 84 originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Hall of Fame pitcher Gaylord Perry, who made his MLB debut with the Giants and pitched for them from 1962 to 1971, passed away Thursday.

Perry died of natural causes at his home in Gaffney, S.C., around 5 a.m. Thursday, Cherokee County Coroner Dennis Fowler said. No additional details were provided.

In a statement released by the Giants on Thursday, chairman Greg Johnson said the organization was "deeply saddened" by the Hall of Famer's passing.

"Gaylord was an integral part of the Giants and a great teammate and friend to many in the organization," Johnson said. "We extend our deepest condolences to Gaylord’s family, friends, and his fans everywhere.”  
 
“Gaylord Perry was larger than life both on and off the field,” added Larry Baer, Giants president and chief executive officer. “Gaylord was not only a Giants legend but a baseball legend with a storied 22-year career that touched three different decades.

"Here in San Francisco, he helped lead those early Giants teams in the 60s and early 70s that brought young Giants fans like myself out to Candlestick Park to fall in love with the game of baseball. Our heartfelt condolences go out to Deborah and his family and friends during this time.”

After a brief call-up in 1962, Perry went on to serve as a relief pitcher for the Giants in 1963 before eventually joining San Francisco's starting rotation in 1964.

Perry compiled a record of 134-109 with a 2.96 ERA, 1,606 strikeouts and 9 saves in 367 appearances with the Giants over 10 seasons, and his No. 36 was retired by San Francisco on July 23, 2005.

On Aug. 13, 2016, the Giants unveiled a statue of Perry at Oracle Park featuring the pitcher in his classic follow-through. The bronze replica of the pitcher joined fellow Giants Hall of Famers Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Juan Marichal and Orlando Cepeda as San Francisco greats forever immortalized outside the stadium.

Of that statuesque group, Perry joins McCovey (2018) as those who have passed.

Upon hearing the news, Perry's fellow Giants Hall of Famers offered their condolences in a statement released by the Giants.

"He was a good man, a good ballplayer and my good friend. So long old pal,” Mays said.  
 
"I am very saddened to hear about Gaylord's passing," Cepeda said. "He was a wonderful teammate with a great sense of humor. He had a great personality and was my baseball brother. In all my years in baseball, I never saw a right-handed hurler have such a presence on the field and in the clubhouse. He threw excellent pitches and provided the batter with another thing to think about as the pitch swept toward the plate. My deepest condolences to his wife Deborah, and the entire Perry Family."  
 
"I was informed this morning of Gaylord Perry's passing and it's tough losing a legend,” Marichal said. “Gaylord was smart, funny, and kind to everyone in the clubhouse. When he talked, you listened. During our 10 seasons together in the San Francisco Giants rotation, we combined to record 369 complete games, more than any pair of teammates in the Major Leagues.

"I will always remember Gaylord for his love and devotion to the game of baseball, his family, and his farm.  Alma and I send our love to Deborah and their children and mourn his loss with them."

The right-handed Perry, famous for his spitball, went on to pitch for seven more teams after the Giants until he retired after the 1983 season. Across his 22-year baseball career, Perry pitched to 314 wins, 3,534 strikeouts, and a 3.11 earned run average.

He was a five-time MLB All-Star, two-time Cy Young Award winner and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1991.

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Perry is survived by his wife, Deborah, and his three children, Allison, Amy, and Beth. He is preceded in death by his son Jack and wife Blanche. 
 
“We are forever appreciative of your love and support as we mourn the passing of our beloved Gaylord,” Deborah Perry said in a statement released by the family. “He was an esteemed public figure who inspired millions of fans and was a devoted husband, father, friend and mentor who changed the lives of countless people with his grace, patience, and spirit.”

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