James Alvin “Jim” Palmer (born October 15, 1945), nicknamed “Cakes”, is a former Major League Baseball right-handed pitcher. He played his entire 20-year baseball career for the Baltimore Orioles (1965–1984). He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1990. In a 19-year career, Palmer compiled a 268–152 record with 2,212 strikeouts, a 2.86 ERA, 521 games started, 211 complete games, and 53 shutouts in 3,948 innings. Palmer’s career earned run average (2.856) is the third lowest among starting pitchers whose careers began after the advent of the Live Ball Era in 1920, behind only Whitey Ford (2.75) and Sandy Koufax (2.75), and miniscually ahead of Andy Messersmith (2.861) and Tom Seaver (2.862). He never allowed a grand slam in his major-league career nor did he ever allow back-to-back homers. In six ALCS and six World Series, he posted an 8–3 record with 90 strikeouts, and an ERA of 2.61 and two shutouts in 17 games. His final major-league victory was noteworthy: Pitching in relief in the third game of the 1983 World Series, he worked methodically through the Phillies’ celebrity-studded batting order, giving up no runs and contributing hugely to a close and crucial Oriole win. In 1999, he ranked No. 64 on The Sporting News’ list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players, and was nominated as a finalist for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team.
Jim Palmer – 1974 Topps #40