The 100 Greatest in 100 Days: #45 Jim Palmer

Winding up at #45 is Orioles ace, Jim Palmer. Prior to the 19-year-old Palmer showing up in Baltimore in 1965, the Orioles had won zero world titles and made one World Series appearance. During his 19 seasons with the O’s, Palmer helped lead them to three World Series titles in six appearances. Palmer’s shutout of Sandy Koufax and the defending World Series champion Dodgers in Game 2 of the 1966 World Series got the ball rolling on Baltimore’s dynasty. Palmer would play an integral part in Baltimore’s subsequent playoff success. His eight postseason wins are the most in franchise history and his 2.61 postseason ERA is the 4th best all-time among pitchers with at least 120 career postseason innings. Palmer was even better in the regular season. He won the AL Cy Young in 1973, 1975, and 1976 and finished runner-up in 1977 and 1982 on his way to eight top-5 finishes.  Palmer’s eight 20-win seasons are the most by any pitcher since 1955 and he has the most 290-inning seasons since 1970. Palmer is one of only four pitchers since 1935 with 265 career wins and a .638 winning percentage.

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