Palmer's four-hit shutout in Game Two, several days shy of his 21st birthday. However, the Birds also dominated the American League Championship Series in the earliest days of division play, sweeping away the Twins in 1969 and 1970 and then dispatching the Athletics in three straight games in 1971. Coincidentally, Jim was the winning pitcher in the Game Three clincher in all three series. Each time, he tossed a complete game, because that's just how damn good he was.
Palmer's nine-inning effort on October 5, 1971 in Oakland was an exercise in perseverance. He walked three, struck out three, and allowed seven hits. The A's actually hit three solo home runs off of the future Hall of Famer - Reggie Jackson had a pair and Sal Bando also went deep. But the O's made it hold up, as the offense reached opposing starter Diego Segui and a young Rollie Fingers for five runs. Don Buford had three hits from the top of the order, Brooks Robinson drove in a couple, and the Birds were bound for their third straight World Series. As fate would have it, that was the most recent postseason series sweep by an Orioles team.
Tomorrow is October 5, wouldn't you know? Bud Norris will take the mound at Comerica Park in Detroit with an opportunity to clinch an ALDS sweep for Baltimore against the Tigers. This would please me, and Jim Palmer would probably approve of it as well. Stay tuned.