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Thursday, January 26, 2023

Gary Peters, two-time White Sox All-Star, dies at 85

Gary Peters, the American League Rookie of the Year in 1963 and an All-Star pitcher for the White Sox in 1964 and ‘67, has died at 85.

Peters led the AL with a 2.63 ERA while winning 19 games as a rookie and was a 20-game winner with a 2.50 ERA for the Sox in 1964. In 1968, the left-hander posted a league-best 1.98 ERA. He pitched for the Sox from 1959-69 before finishing his career with three seasons for the Red Sox.

Peters ranks eighth among White Sox pitchers with 1,098 strikeouts and owned a 3.25 career ERA and 123-105 won-lost record.

In the 1967 All-Star Game at Anaheim Stadium, Peters pitched three perfect innings, strikeouts Willie Mays, Roberto Clemente, Orlando Cepeda and Dick Allen. He also retired Hank Aaron on a groundout.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 26, 2023 at 02:27 PM | 15 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: gary peters, obituaries

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   1. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: January 26, 2023 at 04:45 PM (#6114656)
When I heard that "Gary Peters" was running for the US Senate from my home state of Michigan, I thought, "Hey, that's that guy who pitched for the White Sox!"

No. No, it wasn't.
   2. sanny manguillen Posted: January 26, 2023 at 04:53 PM (#6114660)
Threw four full seasons in Triple A, over 700 innings. Finally getting a full shot in the majors, Peters went 19-8 with a league-leading 2.33 ERA.
   3. Itchy Row Posted: January 26, 2023 at 05:43 PM (#6114673)
He was Rookie of the Year in his fifth season in the major leagues. That's probably a record. Lou Piniella was ROTY five years after his debut (and with his third team) but he didn't have any MLB appearance in three of the years in between.

EDIT: His teammate Tommie Agee also won ROTY in his fifth season.
   4. Ron J Posted: January 26, 2023 at 06:03 PM (#6114679)
Another way to know you're getting on in years. I can remember the end of his career. 50 years ago.

What's truly fascinating about his rookie season is that there's nothing in his minor league record that says anything other than just another guy.

But he got to play in a tough HR park with a good defense behind him. And he took advantage of this and turned out to have a pretty good run. Seems to have had better stuff than I remembered at the start of his career.

Had a rep as a good hitting pitcher and was used a fair amount as a pinch-hitter.
   5. Howie Menckel Posted: January 26, 2023 at 07:49 PM (#6114691)
never saw him smile.

really - of all the Topps baseball cards I had of him, he always looked glum.
oddly enough, he's sort of smiling in his bb-ref photo (or is that wincing?).

Gary's first card was as one of four pitchers on a 1963 Rookie Stars card. with almost 1,200 minor league IP and coming off a so-so season, not sure how he got picked. wait, it's a high number card so he probably won a couple of games by the time that series came out for sale....
   6. Itchy Row Posted: January 26, 2023 at 08:36 PM (#6114696)
Ray Herbert, Peters’s teammate with the White Sox, also died recently. Herbert died on December 20, but it just hit the news today.
   7. Walt Davis Posted: January 26, 2023 at 09:17 PM (#6114704)
He came up earlier this offseason in our discussion of RoYs with more WAR than the MVP. If memory serves he was also starting LHP on the AL all-RoY team.
   8. baxter Posted: January 27, 2023 at 12:04 AM (#6114734)
One memory of watching Peters pitch was that it was a game of the week (so it must have been a Saturday on NBC). He was on Boston; I had wanted to see him as he was a former White Sock, I thought he got shelled, did not get out a batter. But, I can't find the game unless it was the July 5 Yankees game (but that was on a Monday).

Another memory was that he was a good enough hitter to be used as a pinch hitter. I think his avg. was .215 which was good for a pitcher.
   9. vortex of dissipation Posted: January 27, 2023 at 01:26 PM (#6114785)
Peters appears to have been used as an outfielder early in his minor league career. In an interview, he talks about his first year in pro ball, in 1956 with Holdrege in the Nebraska State League:

"Holdrege had some very nice people and to me it was a big town. It was certainly bigger then where I grew up. For the first month or so, I actually played right field! I played a lot of first base in semipro ball but they had J.C. Martin playing first in Holdrege, so I went to the outfield. I was hitting about .360 but had trouble pulling the ball. I think a bunch of our guys then came down with bad arms or something and they tried me out as a pitcher."

Although BR doesn't show any fielding stats that year for any other position except pitcher, Peters pitched in 25 games, but appeared in 40 games, hitting .321 in 90 PA, so he clearly played in other games when he wasn't pitching. The next year at Dubuque in the Midwest League, he pitched 19 games but appeared in 41 games overall. hitting .279 with 4 HR in 112 PA. He's not listed as anything but a pitcher for the fielding stats that year, either, but he was clearly getting PA outside of his pitching appearances.

When Eddie Stanky was managing the White Sox, he hit Peters as high as sixth in the batting order on occasion.
   10. Howie Menckel Posted: January 27, 2023 at 01:34 PM (#6114786)
per Post 8, there was a period of time with national Game of the Week on Saturday afternoons and Monday nights (NBC and ABC, iirc)
   11. SoSH U at work Posted: January 27, 2023 at 02:21 PM (#6114794)
per Post 8, there was a period of time with national Game of the Week on Saturday afternoons and Monday nights (NBC and ABC, iirc)

I didn't remember NBC (but you were right, they did games for about a decade). I only knew the ABC version. The Bird got huge ratings for one of his Monday Night starts.
   12. Walt Davis Posted: January 27, 2023 at 03:08 PM (#6114802)
Wiki tells us that NBC had MNB from 1966-75. Hank's 715th was a NBC Mon night game.

EDIT: A sixpack of Coke to SoSH who already had that info and I glossed over it.
   13. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: January 27, 2023 at 05:07 PM (#6114817)
he and Earl Wilson were the best hitting pitchers in the AL in the 1960s. He appeared as a pinch hitter 77 times
   14. Icebox Posted: January 27, 2023 at 09:17 PM (#6114832)
When Eddie Stanky was managing the White Sox, he hit Peters as high as sixth in the batting order on occasion.

My first game at the original Yankee Stadium was May 26, 1968. I saw Mel Stottlemyre beat Peters and the ChiSox, 5-1. Peters batted in the #6 position, and my father tried to explain to me that this was unusual, but I insisted that pitchers in my (Little) League batted 6th all the time.
   15. baxter Posted: January 27, 2023 at 10:04 PM (#6114838)
The NBC game of the week on Saturdays announced by Gowdy & Kubek.

I think Monday Night Baseball was on ABC announced by Cosell.

I didn't like Cosell as a baseball announcer; he was great for boxing; football okay enough. I thought ABC had Monday night baseball w/guest announcers. One time, it was Dizzy Dean; he was a big hit, for his humor. There was another game where Red Barber was the guest; he gave one of the other announcers an hourglass. The recipient (I forget who) said what did you use this for? Barber replied that when the sand runs out, I give the score. I thought it was a backhanded way of telling the recipient he didn't give the score enough.

I think it was a Monday night football game, the year Mike Norris was having a great year for the A's (so it was probably a Raiders game), but Norris and another A's player were in the booth.

Cosell was lavishly praising Norris' pitching performance, hugging him and chucking him affectionately on the chin while calling Norris "a little monkey." Norris was smiling; did not appear to take offense, I thought it was an odd episode. so, it did not surprise me later when Cosell called Garrett a monkey, I had a different view of the context.

Then again, there was a fantastic play by play announcer Chick Hearn who did the Lakers simulcasts. He was interviewing Paul Westphal (local guy USC/Aviation High; heck of a player) on Phoenix, who was injured w/a stress fracture. Chick asks that is an injury that seems to happen only to white men? Westphal was puzzled. There was no blowback on it; different times I suppose.

I reiterate my disappointment at having to watch Peters on the Bosox (wanted to see him when he was on the chisox, but never happened) and he has a terrible outing, I guess.

Memory is the second thing to go. I forget the first one.

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