Special Bonus Entry: Left Behind 2: Gerald Perry

Bledsoe again…

Gerald Perry.jpgLefthanded Hitting, Righthanded Throwing First Baseman
Braves Seasons: 1983-89
.270/.337/.376 , 37 HRs, 246 RBI, 247 RS, 105 SBs

Gerald Perry was a line-drive hitting, basestealing, defensively challenged first baseman for some truly terrible Braves teams. His first four years with the Braves were as a part-timer: he had 39, 347, 238, and 70 ABs. Finally got a fulltime job in 1987 and responded with .270, 12 HRs, and 42 stolen bases. He made the All-Star Team in 1988 — basically because somebody had to go — when he hit .300 and stole 29 bases. Given that that team lost 106 games, and the team BA was – gulp — .242, his feat as the sole bright spot in what is probably the Braves’ absolute nadir is more remarkable.

Unfortunately, he was a pure contact, singles type hitter, and didn’t have enough pop to really play first, and his glove made it unbearable to think of him anywhere else.

Gerald’s defense earned him the sobriquet “The Claw” from his teammates. It was deserved.

Does Gerald belong among Mac’s Immortals? I can’t really make a case for him to be among the best 44 ever, but he’s not a laughable candidate. He certainly falls in the same group as Lonnie and Burroughs, but as noted, they don’t deserve to be there either.

Bonus commentary by Mac: If I’d come up with a system that included Gerald Perry, I probably would have scrapped the system. That didn’t come up, thankfully. My main memory of Perry is that 1988 season when he looked for awhile like he might win the batting title — he was hitting in the .330s in July and .320 on September 7 — but slumped and was held out of the last game to preserve a .300 average. His best contribution to the Braves was that John Schuerholz for some reason traded Charlie Leibrandt for him… Gerald did have a nice secondary career as a pinch-hitter with the Cardinals, hitting over .320 with walks and power in 1993 and 1994. It’d been nice if he’d done that in Atlanta.

Gerald Perry Statistics – Baseball-Reference.com

★ Support us on Patreon

This is a hobby site made by people who love the Braves. If you would like to support our work, we encourage you to do so using Patreon. Supporting us has benefits for you as well!

Sign Me Up!

8 thoughts on “Special Bonus Entry: Left Behind 2: Gerald Perry”

  1. In 1988, the year he hit .300, his OPS was a whopping 738. Surprisingly, this was actually better than four other NL 1Bs. I don’t know the All-Star splits, but I’m almost sure that Galarraga, Clark, Grace, or Glenn Davis were having better years than Perry’s empty .320 BA.

    Perry was something of an early sabermetric wakeup call for me. Our announcers would constantly praise his hitting ability, and I’d be sitting there thinking, “Can’t anybody see that this guy is terrible???”

  2. They most certainly were.

    1988 OPS+s

    Galarraga – 148 (.302/.352/.540)
    Clark – 160 (.282/.386/.508)
    Grace – 119 (.296/.371/.403)
    Davis – 138 (.271/.341/.478)

    Perry – 108 (.300/.338/.400)

    Which one of these is not like the other? Which one of these is not the same? ;)

  3. I was actually a fan of Gerald Perry, but sort of in the way I was a fan of Rafael Ramirez—he could do some positive things, but not nearly enough. His shortcomings were obvious on a day-to-day basis.

    He’d hit for average, but not power; he’d steal bases, but had clumsy footwork at first. He was basically one of the “better” players on a shockingly bad team—as in, if you think Gerald Perry is lousy, then let me introduce you to Ken Oberkfell.

    When I was in college, I wrote a column in the campus daily about Gerald Perry. The thing started with a quote from the MInutemen, a punk band. (“Burned out wreck spotted on the beach—symbol for my life…”) I likened him to Gary Matthews, in the sense that he was one of the very small bright spots on a club that was overmatched almost nightly, someone who still hustled, took extra bases, didn’t fight with his teammates, tried to win.

    He was, unfortunately, just Gerald Perry, the kind of player who personified that dark era.

  4. I am willing to cut Gerald a break on his numbers based on the fact that nobody else on those teams was even getting on base. Team OBP in 88? .298.

  5. Actually came up as an OF, and then struggled with the stick , back down to AAA for a year then back up, to play First base. yeah he was our Rickey Henderson ( stolen base atl champ for years) He broke Royster’s record if iam not mistaken, then it was Otis ‘s time a few years later.
    He would not be on ,my list, but he was a typical 80’s braves
    More Bad braves, Do you remeber only a few years ago, mr pinch runner Cory Aldridge, Got nailed at shea at third, don’t think ever played again, He is no Trench Davis or Terry Bell

  6. I don’t know what it was, but I never really liked Perry. Maybe I was just tired of those types of players by the end of the 80s?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *