When he wasn’t appearing in Jockey ads Jim Palmer was one of the best pitchers in Major League Baseball history. The right-hander won 268 games over a 19-year career with the Baltimore Orioles and was a first ballot Hall of Fame selection in 1990. Palmer was a 6-time All-Star, 3-time World Series winner, 4-time Gold Glove winner, and 3-time American League Cy Young Award winner. He was a 20-game winner eight times, led the AL in ERA twice, and pitched a no-hitter in 1969 against the Oakland A’s.
Many years removed from his stellar career Jim Palmer is apparently no longer in need of some of the visible reminders of how good he once was. The current Orioles broadcaster has decided to put up for auction all three of his Cy Young Awards and two of his Gold Gloves.
“At this juncture of my life, I would rather concern myself with the education of my grandchildren,” Palmer said. “I also have a stepson, (15-year-old) Spencer, who is autistic and will need special care for the rest of his life. My priorities have changed.”
“While I am immensely proud to have received these awards, that chapter of my life has passed,” he said. “I am aware of people that love baseball and would treasure items like mine. Hopefully, these awards will bring happiness into baseball fans’ lives and allow me to make a difference in my family’s future.”
Bids can be made via telephone and online through July 8 to Hunt Auctions with the live auction taking place July 10. Palmer’s Cy Young’s were from 1973, 1975, and 1976 while the Gold Gloves were won in 1976 and 1979. Hunt Auctions president David Hunt expects the Cy Young Awards to go for $60,000-$80,000 and the Gold Glove Awards to sell for around $15,000.
“Joe DiMaggio did it. So did Ted Williams,” Hunt said. “They lived the moments, and their accomplishments are really the reward. It’s not all about dollars and cents, either. They want to make sure the items go to homes where people enjoy them.”
A portion of the proceeds from the auctions will go to the autism project of Palm Beach County.
Jim Palmer will be honored by the Baltimore Orioles as part of their Legends Celebration Series with a bronze statue at Oriole Park at Camden Yards during a ceremony prior to the game on July 14 versus the Detroit Tigers. His #22 is retired by the team and appears outside the stadium as well.