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Will the Real Jim Palmer Please Stand Up

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Interesting article I found today on Jim Palmer that was originally written by Tom Boswell in 1983. Never read it before and I'm about a third of the way through it. It's a lengthy piece, but I figure most of us have time these days to read. 

Will the Real Jim Palmer Please Stand Up


In the Jockey ad, half of Jim Palmer's princely, brooding face is fully lighted, the other half is masked in shadow. This chiaroscuro portrait, intended only to sell underwear, comes alarmingly close to capturing the man. Or rather, it hints at how elusive a clear view of the dichotomous Palmer can be.

Ever since he pitched a shutout in the World Series 17 years ago, at the age of 20, beating Sandy Koufax in Koufax's final game, Palmer has been as glamorous, as bright, as gifted and as public a figure as baseball has had to offer. Yet today Palmer forlornly describes himself as so “completely misunderstood” that he has given up hope of ever being appreciated rightly. His teammates go further, doubting whether anybody fathoms the consistently contradictory Palmer—least of all Palmer. In one breath his fellow Baltimore Orioles call him a true Hall of Famer; then, in the next, denigrate him as a hypochondriac, borderline paranoiac, prima donna, and even quitter.


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