FanPost

Indians by the Numbers — #36

P-413698-autographed-hand-signed-gaylord-perry-cleveland-indians-8x10-photo-mla-3737_medium
via www.halloffamememorabilia.com

Spit Take.

Named for his father’s close friend who passed away during routine dental work, Gaylord Jakcson Perry was born in Williamston, North Carolina on September 15, 1938.

Renowned for doctoring baseballs, including throwing a patented spitball, Perry came to the Indians via trade along with infielder Frank Duffy in exchange for fireballer Sam McDowell. In one of the few deals to work out for the Cleveland front office, Perry would go on to win 70 games in 4 seasons with the Tribe while McDowell would amass only 24 more victories in his career.

Perry would first don #35 for Cleveland before switching to #36 in 1972 and win a career-high 24 games in 40 starts with an unbelievable 168 ERA+. Perry’s monster season included 29 complete games and 342 2/3 innings pitched. He became the first Indians Cy Young Award winner. Perry was so unhittable that season, he finished with a WHIP of under 1 (0.978), and finished 6th in MVP voting.

The following season, Perry would again make over 40 starts, rack up 29 more complete games, and go 19-19 with a 3.38 ERA for a 71-91 sixth-place team. Despite losing 19 games, Perry would still finish 7th in Cy Young voting in the American League.

In his final full season with the team, Perry would again top 20 wins (21), with an ERA of 2.51, 28 complete games, 322 1/3 innings pitched, and almost as many strikeouts (216) as hits allowed (230). He would finish 4th in Cy Young voting in 1974.

Long suspected of doctoring baseballs, Perry admitted that he first learned how to throw a spitball from Bob Shaw. Over time, Perry developed various techniques to psyche out batters based upon his perfidious reputation, including touching assorted parts of his cap and hair—that may or may not contain doctoring substances—before winding up.

Not a great hitter by any means, Alvin Dark once prophetically joked of Perry, "They'll put a man on the moon before he hits a home run." On July 20, 1969, about an hour after the Apollo 11 spacecraft touched down on the moon, Perry launched the first home run of his career.

1975 would see Perry often at odds with player-manager Frank Robinson. By June, he was dealt to the Texas Rangers in return for pitchers Jim BIbby, Rick Waits, and Jackie Brown.

Perry would go on to win 80 more games for the Rangers. A true ace during his time in Cleveland, Perry accounted for 39% of the team’s wins.

After Texas, Perry would pitch for five more teams (San Diego Padres, New York Yankees, Atlanta Braves, Seattle Mariners, and Kansas City Royals) before retiring in 1983 after totaling 314 wins in 22 seaons. Despite a history of using illegal pitches, Perry was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1991.

Money.

The number 36 is the ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) code for the symbol $,

Gaylord Perry was certainly "money" for the Tribe. Could any other players who wore #36 be considered "money" as well? Frankly, beyond Perry, the history of #36 for the Indians is littered with a few has-beens and many more never-weres. Finding suitable challengers to Perry’s throne served to be problematic. Here are a few who fell short.

Paul Byrd (2006-2008)

Originally drafted by Cleveland in the 4th round of the 1991 draft out of LSU, Byrd flew from New York (NL) to Atlanta to Philadelphia to Kansas City back to Atlanta, then to Anaheim before touching down in Cleveland for 2+ seasons. Surprisingly, his arms weren’t tired. In fact, Byrd pitched beyond his talents (and his dentists’ "talents") in the 2007 post season, winning games in both the ALDS and ALCS, yielding 4 ER in 10 IP, and providing Cleveland an unexpected boost from the back end of the rotation.

Jamie Easterly (1983-1986)

One arm. Four eyes. 130 games. 106+ ERA. Easterly was a serviceable arm out the bullpen for the early to mid 80s Indians. A stalwart of awkward trading card blogposts, Easterly went 11-6 in 242 2/3 innings for the Tribe spread over four seasons. He also led the team in beer goggling.

Albert Belle (1989)

Albert had an unremarkable rookie season while wearing #36. He then switched to #8 and became one of the game’s most feared hitters. During that time, he was also one of planet Earth’s most feared human beings.

Rick Waits (1975-1977)

Drafted by the Washington Senators (The Texas Ranger Washington Senators, not the Minnesota Twin Washington Senators … whew), Waits made his debut in Cleveland on September 17, 1973 after being lost at sea for 31 months. Waits was a thoroughly average pitcher for the Indians before becoming a convincingly average pitcher for the Milwaukee Brewers. He’s only here because he managed to hurl 1,276 innings for the Indians during the 1970s, which is at least worth an honorary plaque or a Seiko watch, or a mention in a By The Numbers series on letsgotribe.com

The One Year Wonders

Denny Galehouse, Ray Mack, Ken Jungels, Frank Doljack, Red Embree, Ted Sepkowski, Joe Frazier, Sam Jones, Ted Wilks, Sam Mele, Dick Williams, Bobby Tiefenauer, Mike Hedlund, Larry Burchart, Fred Lasher, Camilo Pascual, Jackie Brown, Ed Vande Berg, Rick Rodriguez, Reggie Williams, Tim Stoddard, Albert Belle, Dave Mlicki, Brad Arnsberg, Jeff Mutis, Mike Bielecki, Bruce Aven, Scott Radinsky, Nick Bierbrodt, Ernie Young, Jose Jimenez, Jeremy Guthrie and Greg Aquino all wore uniform #36 for only one season.

The All-Time List

Denny Galehouse RP, SP (1936) 8-7, 36 G, 15 GS, 4.85 ERA, 148.1 IP, 106 ERA+; also #25 in 1936; was #15 in 1935; switched to #16 in 1937

Ray Mack 2B (1938) 333/333/667, 147 OPS+, 6 PA; switched to #6 in 1939

Ken Jungels RP (1941) 0-0, 6 G, 0 GS, 7.24 ERA, 13.2 IP, 56 ERA+; also #33 and #43 in 1941; was #33 in 1940; lost in Rule 5 draft to Pirates

Frank Doljack LF, RF, PH (1943) 000/125/000, -61 OPS+, 8 PA

Jimmy Grant PH, 2B, 3B (1943-1944) 248/341/372, 108 OPS+, 140 PA; purchased from White Sox

Red Embree SP (1946) 8-12, 28 G, 26 GS, 3.47 ERA, 200 IP, 95 ERA+; was #30 in 1945; switched to #22 in 1947

Ted Sepkowski PH, RF (1947) 125/222/250, 32 OPS+, 9 PA; was #39 in 1946; sold to Yankees

Joe Frazier RF, PH (1947) 071/133/143, -23 OPS+, 15 PA; traded with Dick Kokos and Bryan Stephens to Cardinals for Wally Judnich and Bob Muncrief

Hal Peck PH, RF (1948-1949) 293/343/337, 83 OPS+, 100 PA; was #34 in 1947

Sam Jones SP, RP (1951) 0-1, 2 G, 1 GS, 2.08 ERA, 8.2 IP, 191 ERA+; also #22 in 1951; switched to #22 in 1952

Ted Wilks RP (1952) 0-0, 7 G, 0 GS, 3.86 ERA, 11.2 IP, 90 ERA+; also #29 in 1952; traded with George Strickland by Pirates for Johnny Berardino and Charlie Sipple; switched to #28 in 1953

Sam Dente SS, 3B, PR, 2B (1954-1955) 263/323/321, 74 OPS+, 315 PA; purchased from White Sox

Sam Mele PH, LF, 1B (1956) 254/320/421, 92 OPS+, 128 PA

Dick Williams CF, 3B, LF (1957) 283/324/405, 95 OPS+, 220 PA; traded by Orioles for Jim Busby; traded with Gene Woodling and Bud Daley to Orioles for Larry Doby and Don Ferrarese

Don Dillard PH, CF, LF (1961-1962) 249/305/399, 90 OPS+, 347 PA; was #38 in 1960; traded with Frank Funk and Ty Cline (PTBNL) to Braves for Joe Adcock and Jack Curtis

Ted Abernathy RP (1963-1964) 9-8, 96 G, 0 GS, 3.68 ERA, 132 IP, 99 ERA+; purchased from Braves; sold to Cubs

Bobby Tiefenauer RP (1965) 0-5, 15 G, 0 GS, 4.84 ERA, 22.1 IP, 74 ERA+; purchased from Yankees; switched to #41 in 1967

Bob Allen RP (1966-1967) 2-7, 83 G, 0 GS, 3.58 ERA, 105.2 IP, 95 ERA+; was #40 in 1963

Mike Hedlund RP (1968) 0-0, 3 G, 0 GS, 10.80 ERA, 1.2 IP, 75 ERA+; was #41 in 1965; drafted by Royals in expansion draft; traded by Royals for Kurt Bevacqua; traded to White Sox for Kent Hottman

Larry Burchart RP (1969) 0-2, 29 G, 0 GS, 4.25 ERA, 42.1 IP, 89 ERA+; rule 5 draftee from Dodgers

Fred Lasher RP (1970) 1-7, 43 G, 1 GS, 4.06 ERA, 57.2 IP, 97 ERA+; traded by Tigers for Russ Nagelson and Billy Rohr; Rule 5 draftee by Angels

Camilo Pascual RP (1971) 2-2, 9 G, 1 GS, 3.09 ERA, 23.1 IP, 97 ERA+; also #35 in 1971

Gaylord Perry SP (1972-1975) 70-57, 134 G, 133 GS, 2.71 ERA, 1130.2 IP, 134 ERA+; All-Star in 1972 and 1974; 1st in 1972, 7th in 1973 and 4th in 1974 in Cy Young voting; 6th in 1972, 26th in 1973 and 17th in 1974 in MVP voting; also #35 in 1972; traded to Rangers for Rick Waits, Jackie Brown and Jim Bibby

Jackie Brown RP (1975) 1-2, 25 G, 3 GS, 4.28 ERA, 69.1 IP, 88 ERA+; also #28 and #31 in 1975; traded with Rick Waits and Jim Bibby by Rangers for Gaylord Perry; switched to #31 in 1976

Rick Waits SP, RP (1975-1983) 74-84, 235 G, 187 GS, 4.18 ERA, 1276 IP, 94 ERA+; also #30 in 1975; traded with Jackie Brown and Jim Bibby by Rangers for Gaylord Perry; traded with Rick Manning to Brewers for Gorman Thomas, Ernie Camacho and Jamie Easterly

Jamie Easterly RP (1983-1986) 11-6, 130 G, 8 GS, 3.97 ERA, 242.2 IP, 106 ERA+; traded with Gorman Thomas and Ernie Camacho by Brewers for Rick Manning and Rick Waits; switched to #11 in 1987

Ed Vande Berg RP (1987) 1-0, 55 G, 0 GS, 5.10 ERA, 72.1 IP, 89 ERA+

Rick Rodriguez SP, RP (1988) 1-2, 10 G, 5 GS, 7.09 ERA, 33 IP, 58 ERA+

Reggie Williams LF (1988) 226/226/387, 67 OPS+, 31 PA; traded by Dodgers for Greg LaFever

Tim Stoddard RP (1989) 0-0, 14 G, 0 GS, 2.95 ERA, 21.1 IP, 137 ERA+

Albert Belle RP (1989) 225/269/394, 85 OPS+, 234 PA; switched to #8 in 1990

Mauro Gozzo SP, RP (1990-1991) 0-0, 4 G, 2 GS, 11.74 ERA, 7.2 IP, 38 ERA+; traded with Steve Cummings (PTBNL) and Alex Sanchez (PTBNL) by Blue Jays for Buddy Black

Brad Arnsberg RP (1992) 0-0, 8 G, 0 GS, 11.81 ERA, 10.2 IP, 35 ERA+

Dave Mlicki SP (1992) 0-2, 4 G, 4 GS, 4.98 ERA, 21.2 IP, 81 ERA+; also #37 in 1992; switched to #23 in 1993

Mike Bielecki SP (1993) 4-5, 13 G, 13 GS, 5.90 ERA, 68.2 IP, 75 ERA+

Jeff Mutis SP (1993) 3-6, 17 G, 13 GS, 5.78 ERA, 81 IP, 76 ERA+; also #50 in 1993; lost on waivers to Marlins

Herbert Perry 1B (1994-1996) 290/361/426, 103 OPS+, 211 PA; drafted by Devil Rays in expansion draft

Bruce Aven LF (1997) 211/250/263, 33 OPS+, 20 PA; also # 56 in 1997; lost on waivers to Marlins

Tom Martin RP (1998-2000) 2-2, 51 G, 0 GS, 7.06 ERA, 57.1 IP, 70 ERA+; traded with Travis Fryman by Diamondbacks for Matt Williams; traded to Mets for Javier Ochoa

Scott Radinsky RP (2001) 0-0, 2 G, 0 GS, 27.00 ERA, 2 IP, 19 ERA+

Bill Selby 3B, PH, LF, 2B, RF (2002-2003) 192/256/343, 60 OPS+, 220 PA

Nick Bierbrodt RP (2003) 0-0, 5 G, 0 GS, 6.75 ERA, 8 IP, 68 ERA+; claimed off waivers from Devil Rays

Jose Jimenez RP (2004) 1-7, 31 G, 0 GS, 8.42 ERA, 36.1 IP, 52 ERA+

Ernie Young PH, DH (2004) 500/600/500, 200 OPS+, 5 PA

Jeremy Guthrie RP (2005) 0-0, 1 G, 0 GS, 6.00 ERA, 6 IP, 74 ERA+; was #52 in 2004; switched to #57 in 2006

Paul Byrd SP (2006-2008) 32-27, 84 G, 84 GS, 4.68 ERA, 502.1 IP, 95 ERA+; traded to Red Sox for Mickey Hall (PTBNL)

Greg Aquino RP (2009) 1-2, 10 G, 0 GS, 4.50 ERA, 16 IP, 96 ERA+

Statistics and such

Other fun facts, the uniform #36 has been worn 75 times by 47 different players covering 64 seasons of a possible 84 seasons since 1929. Uniform #36 was shared in a season ten times, 1943, 1947, 1975, 1983, 1988, 1989, 1992, 1993, 2003 and 2004. It was shared by three players in 1975.

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