Winning Pitch (Hardcover)
Born the son of a poor sharecropper, Jim Perry grew up working in the tobacco fields of rural North Carolina. Not only did he work his way out of that backbreaking job, but Jim Perry worked himself all the way to becoming a big league baseball star. After a splashy debut, Jim faced repeated obstacles as he worked to become a regular member of the starting rotation. To everyone's surprise (except his own), Jim Perry finally emerged in his 11th major league season to become a 20-game winner. The next year he won the Cy Young Award, given to the best pitcher in the American League.
As a longtime player representative, Jim Perry played a pivotal role in MLB's first labor battles, helping to achieve key gains that would eventually lead to a massive explosion in player salaries. Marvin Miller, executive director of the MLB Players' Association, called Perry "a tower of strength" for his role in helping Miller lead fellow players through the first organized strike in U.S. major league professional sports history. Though he was one of the early union leaders, Jim Perry never reaped the rewards of the union victories. His MLB playing career ended in 1975, the year before formal free agency began. With no fortune to retire on, Jim was forced to begin his post-playing career in much the same way as he entered the game, working from the ground up.
By hard work and determination, Jim eventually joined forces with two other men to capitalize on the deregulation of the long-distance telephone industry. He parlayed his expert people skills and baseball achievements to forge remarkable success in a second career in the business world.
Jim Perry was a role model and mentor to little brother Gaylord, who would go on to a 22-year MLB hall-of-fame career of his own. The Perry brothers were the first to both win the Cy Young Award, the first to both win 20 games in the same season and the first brothers to face off against each other in the MLB All-Star Game. With 529 combined MLB victories, the pair retired as the winningest brothers in MLB history.
The Jim Perry Story details the relentless dedication and remarkable resiliency of a man who "refused to be discouraged" no matter how many obstacles were placed in his path. It is a story of great perseverance and intestinal fortitude by a man who worked his dreams true and achieved ultimate success. Twice.