Rumor has it that Jim Palmer was an unbelievably, absurdly good pitcher. You'd probably accept that statement at face value, but why not feast on some sumptuous statistical evidence? According to the always-worthwhile Baseball-Reference Blog, "Cakes" is one of the rare pitchers in the past 55 years to post more shutouts than losses in a single season. In 1969, the 23-year-old righty won 16 games (six of which were shutouts) and lost only four. Incredible? Sure.
But wait, there's more!
Of Palmer's 268 career wins, 53 were whitewashes. Comparing those 53 shutouts to his 152 losses, he had 34.8% as many shutouts as losses. He's one of only seven pitchers post-1954 (again, that's as far back as B-R.com has detailed game-by-game data) with at least 100 wins to post such a high ratio of shutouts to losses. He has the most career wins of anyone on that list, outpacing fellow Hall of Famers Bob Gibson and Juan Marichal.
In conclusion, Jim Palmer has earned the right to spend the rest of his natural life talking about how great he is. It's just a happy coincidence that someone pays him to do so.