Hall of Fame pitcher tapped as downtown parade’s marshal

Gaylord Perry, the Hall of Fame pitcher whose autobiography, “Me and the Spitter: An Autobiographical Confession,” discussed his use of the illegal pitch, will be the marshal of the 9th annual Grand Slam Parade in advance of the 2013 Little League World Series, which runs Aug. 15-25 at Lamade and Volunteer stadiums. The announcement was made in a Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce flyer this week.

The Grand Slam Parade runs through downtown Williamsport the night before the World Series, and is scheduled for 6 p.m., Aug. 14. The parade is organized by the Chamber and its Lycoming County Visitors Bureau. Players on all 16 World Series teams ride in the parade, along with various local groups and personalities. Perry also will attend the Grand Slam Kickoff Breakfast set for Aug. 15 at the Genetti Hotel.

“We are excited to have him here,” said Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Vincent Matteo. “We think he’ll be a great grand marshal.”

Since the inception of the parade, efforts are made to find former major leaguers, many of them whom been inducted into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.

Other Hall of Famers to serve as Grand Slam Parade marshals include Wade Boggs, Jim Rice, Bruce Sutter, Andre Dawson, and Goose Gossage.

Perry was the first player to win Cy Young awards in both leagues, earning the American League one in 1972 with the Cleveland Indians and the National League one in 1978 with the San Diego Padres. He finished his career with a 314-265 record, 3.11 earned-run average, and 3,534 strikeouts. He pitched for eight teams – the San Francisco Giants from 1962-71, the Indians from 1972-75, the Texas Rangers from 1975-77, the Padres from 1978-79, the Rangers and New York Yankees in 1980, the Atlanta Braves in 1981, the Seattle Mariners in 1982-83, and the Kansas City Royals in 1983.

Perry was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1991. He said in his autobiography he learned the spitter in 1964 as a desperate young pitcher trying to stay in the majors, but eventually stopped using it.

He was suspended for 10 games as a Mariner in 1982 after being ejected in a game vs. the Boston Red Sox for throwing illegal pitches.

“I think he will bring a different perspective to it,” Matteo said.

It will not mark Perry’s first visit to Williamsport.

In the past, the former right-handed hurler took part in at least one golf outing in the city, according to Matteo.