Please join me in wishing Jim Palmer a very happy 64th birthday tonight. In honor of the Orioles' most vocal and most accomplished pitcher, here are a few facts that I didn't previously know about him:
-He was adopted as an infant.
-Before joining the Orioles' organization at age 18, Jim was initiated into the Sigma Chi fraternity at Arizona State University, although he did not actually attend the school.
-On May 16, 1965, he picked up his first major league win and hit his first home run in the same game. His two-run homer off of Yankee pitcher Jim Bouton tied the game in the fourth inning.
-I knew that Palmer was the only pitcher in history to win World Series games in three separate decades, but it hadn't occurred to me that he was the only Oriole to appear in all six of the team's Fall Classics. His 17 years between his first and last World Series wins were a major league record, and he was the only member of the 1983 World Champion Orioles to have previously won a ring.
-Not only did Jim never allow a grand slam in his career, he also never gave up back-to-back home runs.
-While working out at the University of Miami during his comeback attempt, Palmer was approached by Hurricanes assistant coach Lazaro Collazo. Collazo, presumably not recognizing Palmer, reportedly told him, "You'll never get into the Hall of Fame with those mechanics." "I'm already in the Hall of Fame," Palmer replied.