The less-famous half of the second-winningest brother combination in ML history, Jim Perry won 215 games in 17 seasons, and younger brother Gaylord added 314 to boost the family total to a whopping 529. A tall, trim righthander, Perry overcame several seasons in Twins manager Sam Mele‘s doghouse, as well as the rap that he was “too nice” to win consistently in the ML, and in 1970 won the AL Cy Young Award with a 24-12 record.
Perry was first signed by the Indians, and in his second season he led the AL in starts (36), wins (18), and shutouts (four) as Cleveland’s number-one starter. His ERA jumped to 4.71 in 1961, and after a 12-12 season in 1962 he was traded to the Twins for pitcher Jack Kralick in May 1963. Perry shuttled between the bullpen and starting rotation in his first six seasons with the Twins, usually only starting when injuries or doubleheaders necessitated it, and he pitched well, posting only one ERA above 3.00 from 1965 to 1968. In 1965 Minnesota even placed Perry on waivers, and after he went unclaimed he won seven straight games to help the Twins to the World Series.
Billy Martin became the Twins’ manager in 1969, and Perry immediately took over as the number-one starter, going 20-12 with a 2.82 ERA as the Twins won the AL West. The following year, he won the AL Cy Young Award with his 24-12, 3.03 record as the Twins won a second straight division title, but they were swept by the Orioles in the LCS for the second year in a row, with Perry losing Game One. He averaged over 15 wins a year from 1971 to 1974, but was traded to the Tigers in 1973 and to the Indians in 1974 before finishing his career with Cleveland and Oakland in 1975.
At the plate Perry was a switch-hitter, and boasted a respectable .199 career average.