Story on Perry marinating self for added advantage

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.


#1 Frank Jordan on 06.04.07 at 9:22 am

The smell was so strong my eyes were almost watering, so on that particular day at least he had plenty of Ben-Gay on. On any old footage you see of Gaylord he was always sweating even on cool days, maybe the Ben-Gay had something to do with it. I’m sure he didn’t do this all the time, but he was famous for giving out grease handshakes before the game to plant the seed in the opponents heads, can you imagine if he had a grease handshake and smelled of Ben-Gay? You’d KNOW he was up to something.
Great tactic. Only Gaylord.

#2 thoan on 06.04.07 at 4:01 pm

Thank goodness he never tried this trick with Preparation H.

#3 sdsd on 06.05.07 at 8:58 pm

The question is, Derek, do you believe anything Perry did inflated his statistics at all?