Frank Deford on Gaylord Perry
RUSH: "Earlier this week, I think it was actually Wednesday on NPR's Morning Edition, there was a report from Frank Deford, who is the sports commentator there. He may still be at SI, I don't know...He did a report on New England quarterback Tom Brady and his suspension.
DEFORD: In hindsight, all of us made a terrible mistake in looking upon someone like Gaylord Perry, he the pitcher infamous for loading up his deliveries with what we quaintly call foreign substances, as a sort of a sassy picturesque figure who was merely tilting at the windmills of authority. Nonsense. Perry and his ilk didn't abuse baseballs. They abused baseball.
RUSH: Okay, now, need to put this in some kind of context. For those of you who are too young, Gaylord Perry, who I actually met, Gaylord Perry was a famous pitcher. His brother was Jim Perry. He pitched for every team in the league, it seems like, and he closed his career out with the Kansas City Royals when I happened to be there. He was traded to the Royals by somebody, maybe Texas, I forget who, and the first day he shows up he's got, honest to God, two lion cubs with him, in cages, and he bought 'em for security on his North Carolina farm.
I said, "What do you need lions for?"
He said, "I gotta protect, there's all kinds of bad people down there and these lions will keep 'em away."
They were cute little lion cubs, and he let 'em out of cage. They were running the locker room.
They're not harmful at that age. They were tiny....But he was known for loading the ball up. Spitballs, they were called. Vaseline, anyplace you could hide the substance on your uniform. If you know what you're doing, it doesn't take much. You put it on the right spot on the baseball, if you can throw the baseball hard enough, what will happen is the bottom will drop out of it. At home plate the illusion is it's dropping straight down. It's obvious when somebody can throw a spitball and has done one well because you can't make a ball do that other than with a foreign substance.
Joe Niekro was a guy who did this. He had a knuckleball, but he also had foreign substance on the ball. I'll never forget, he got caught. He got caught and the home plate umpire charges out to the mound and Niekro says, "I didn't do anything!" and he starts emptying his pocket and all this stuff comes out. (laughing) A fingernail file, he was scuffing up the baseball. All kinds of stuff that he was putting on 'em just came out of his pocket and he tried to act like no, I wasn't, it was just there. It was it is funniest thing....
Anyway, as you can tell, Gaylord Perry back in his day was treated as an artist. I mean, the media marveled at his ability to cheat just like they marveled at Bill Clinton's ability to lie. But, now, Deford is coming here and telling us he now feels guilty about that. In his advanced experienced age, looking back on things, he now realizes it was improper to think it cute or clever and harmless. We thought that this guy was, you know, a sassy, picturesque player, larger than life, could do things with a baseball. We all knew it but we all looked the other way because it's just what we did, but now we know he was abusing baseball.
So Frank Deford is saying for all sportswriters that we have realized our error. And what made us realize our error was watching Tom Brady do the same thing, by deflating the footballs. He's not abusing the footballs. He's abusing football....
So that is the context, Deford admitting latter career guilt over not taking seriously the damage to the game that guys like Gaylord Perry were causing. And then he continues now with what it all means with what Tom Brady is doing."...image above of Gaylord Perry from Rush Limbaugh
5/20/15, NPR: The Other Sacred Thing Tom Brady Squashed: Sportsmanship - Frank Deford
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