Frank Jordan wrote:
I have an addendum for the Gaylord Perry section. I once went to a Mariner game and sat in row 1 behind the Mariners bullpen at the Kingdome. Gaylord Perry was pitching that day and was warming up before the game right in front of us. When he got done warming up he sat down in front of us to cool down for a moment before leaving to head into the clubhouse. Left in front of us were two players. I can’t remember their names ( I was 12) but I believe one of them was Terry “Bud” Bulling, and the other was a relief pitcher.
I turned to my friend after Perry left and said, “Man, Perry STINKS.” (His smell, not his performance.)
The catcher turned to me and said, “Oh, so you now know his secret.”
“His secret? How do you mean?”
““Gaylord coats his entire body with Ben-Gay before the game, and when he sweats during the game his entire uniform becomes a big greaseball. He can touch any part of his uniform to throw a greaseball. The umpires can check him all they want, but Ben-Gay isn’t illegal and there’s nothing they can do about it.”
This was in the days before the odorless Sportscreme. It would be even easier to pull off today. (Ben-Gaylord?)
I didn’t encounter anything like this while doing book research, and I did a ton of Gaylord Perry reading writing that part of the book. But I don’t find this particularly implausible – Perry freely admits that he was willing to try anything, no matter how outlandish, in his pursuit of excellence through ball-doctoring.
And even if the catcher was putting him on, it’s still funny.