BROOKLYN, NY- On July
27, 2006, Hall of Fame pitcher, broadcaster and spokesperson Jim Palmer was on hand at Keyspan
Park, throwing out the game’s ceremonial first pitch as a part of a campaign
by Strike Out High Cholesterol.
“I think it’s a pretty important
cause because there are 100 million Americans that have high cholesterol,” said the eight-time 20 game winner, who also
suffers from high cholesterol. “I thought I was special when I got into the Hall of Fame, but know I’m just one
Despite being on hand to raise public awareness
about high cholesterol, Palmer also signed autographs for fans and reminisced about his time, although short, in the minor
leagues, stating how important his minor league experience was in molding his eventual Hall of Fame career.
“As it turned out, I went right to
the big leagues (after playing in Single-A),” said Palmer, who was also a four-time Gold Glove winner during his 19-year
career. “A lot of the lessons I’ve learned stayed with me forever. I started in the minor leagues for Cal Ripken
Sr and I think one of the reasons that I ended up in the big leagues is because of what he taught me, Cal (Ripken) Jr calls
them life lessons, understanding the game and understanding how important the fans are.”
Realizing just how important the fans are
to the game of Baseball, Palmer, who is currently a commentator for the Baltimore Orioles, the team he played for during his
brilliant 268-win, Hall of Fame career; feels that minor league baseball is a huge attraction all over the country and plays a pivotal role in the lives of many Americans.
“There’s going to be 40 to
50 million Americans who come out to enjoy minor league baseball this year, so it’s a vital part of a lot of communities,”
said Palmer. “For me, it gave me an environment to learn about the game, to know what it’s like to play on good
teams and to have fun and have a passion for something.”
Still keeping up a hectic schedule after
finishing his playing career, Palmer has somehow managed to stay in phenomenal shape, looking strikingly similar to the same
tall and lanky 19-year-old that came up with the Orioles in 1965. While Palmer would attest that he doesn’t feel like
a kid anymore, he would give us his best guess to why his appearance hasn’t changed much since his retirement.
“I haven’t managed yet,”
said Palmer. That’s why I don’t have gray hair yet.”
As far his future is concerned, Palmer
just wants to be around the game of baseball and being able to visit ball parks all over the country as a broadcaster and
as a spokesperson for Strike Out High Cholesterol affords him the opportunity to be around the game he loves. However, despite
his love for the game, Palmer did admit there was one thing he’d love to do if he wasn’t involved with so many
things inside baseball.
“Playing on the senior tour,”
said Palmer, laughing. “But I wouldn’t want to be one of the top ten; I’d want to make some money.”