29 Jun Jim Palmer
Major League Baseball Hall of Famer
In 1990, keynote speaker Jim Palmer was accorded baseball’s highest honor by his election into the Baseball Hall of Fame his first year of eligibility. He received 92/6% of the 444 ballots cast by eligible members of the Baseball Writers Association of America. Of the eight pitchers elected in their first year of eligibility, he received the third highest percentage of votes. Jim Palmer is the only American League Hall of Fame pitcher to win the Cy Young Award three times as well as four Gold Glove Awards. A powerful persona in sports, Jim maintains a strong presence off the playing field through a variety of business, charity and personal interests.
Adopted at birth, Jim was only 9 years old when his adoptive father died. Shortly thereafter, his mother moved the family from New York to California. In 1960, she remarried and the family moved to Scottsdale, Arizona where he attended high school. At the age of 18, Jim signed a $50,000 bonus contract with the Orioles.
As a boy, Jim was always interested in sports. In high school he made All State in three different sports. Besides being the All State starting pitcher, he was a slugger with a .483 batting average. Outstanding in football, in one game along he scored four touchdown receptions. In his senior year in basketball, he averaged 25 points per game to lead all scorers in the state of Arizona. Although offered a scholarship to play basketball at UCLA, Jim signed with the Orioles in 1963 as a free agent, a wise decision that was to bring him superstar status. His 21-year career as a pitcher is remarkable since he played only for the Baltimore Orioles and earned many club records, including most wins, completed games, strikeouts, walks and shutouts. In 1966, keynote speaker Jim Palmer became the youngest player ever to pitch a World Series shutout game. He was the winningest pitcher in the American League in the 1970s. His 2.86 ERA is fourth on the all time list. he’s recognized as being the only pitcher in history who had won a World Series game in each of three decades. Jim joins Sandy Koufax, Tom Seaver, Steve Carlton, Roger Clemens and Greg Maddux as the only pitchers who have won the Cy Young Award at least three times. After amassing 268 victories in a 20 year association with the Orioles, Jim asked for his release in May 1984. However, retirement was not one of the options he contemplated.
Keynote speaker Jim Palmer has built a career as a broadcaster providing commentary at ABC, the cable networks ESPN and HTS, as well as a local station. he has attained success broadcasting for ABC Sports and has been highly acclaimed by viewers for being “bright, opinionated, articulate,” having a “sense of humor” and a “tenacious memory” for the details of the game. He provided color commentary for the 1981, 1985, 1987 and 1989 World Series Games, the 1984, 1986, 1988 All-Star Games, and the League Championship Games in 1978, 1980, 1981 and 1982. From 1989 through 1991 he worked for the Orioles and Baltimore’s WMAR-TV doing play-by-play announcing of Orioles games. Additionally, in 1990, ESPN employed his talents as a commentator and expert analyst earning him an ACE cable award nomination. From 1992 through 1994, he has been broadcasting Orioles games for HTS, an affiliate of Prime Network. In 1994, Jim signed a four year contract with ABC and was to broadcast the intended 1994 World Series game as well as the first tier of the play-off series. For over a decade, Jim has been the ABC Wide World of Sports color analyst for the Little League World Series. “For exemplifying the true spirit of Little League Baseball and serving as a positive role model and inspiration to millions of aspiring Little Leaguers,” Jim was awarded the 1990 William A. (Bill) Shea Distinguished Little League Graduate Award. In 1994, Jim was inducted into the Little League Baseball’s Hall of Excellence.
Since the spring of 1975, Jim as been “pitching” underwear for Jockey International. In that time, he has traveled coast to coast making close to 500 in-store appearances on behalf of Jockey International, appearing on nearly every talk show, interviewing with television and radio stations in every city and narrating fashion events. Most visibly, he has appeared in the company’s national print and television advertisements as well as on billboards in New York’s Times Square and other major cities. In 1993, Jim became the new corporate spokesperson for The Money Store, a major home equity lender. In addition, Jim teamed up with Sansabelt, a division of Trans-Apparel Group as a main spokesperson. he was chosen for his credibility, positive image and dynamic appeal to new and existing customers. In 1994, Jim was part of the Nabisco All-Star Legends, a consumer trading card program which was the largest and most successful in history. Regarded by news reporters and television broadcasters as “the perfect gentleman,” Jim personifies integrity, perseverance and excellence. He was the sports recipient of the American Image Award sponsored by the Male Apparel Industry and the Men’s Fashion Association of America. He has also been a spokesperson for other products, given speeches for corporations, associations and charitable organizations, hosted and served as representative in a number of corporate settings. He has even had a movie role in the file The Naked Gun.
In 1992, Jim completed a pilot for possible syndication called, Living Today with Jim Palmer. In addition, The Sporting Life series, a PBS 10 part show in 1985, demonstrated his ability to interview celebrity lifestyles in the field of sports. In January 1992, he hosted a one-hour special for Fox Television. Jim has filmed more than 75 Health Break spots shown nationally, appeared as a guest host on Entertainment Tonight and co-hosted The Learning Channel’s new special So You Want To Be In Baseball? In April 1994, Jim made his debut contributing baseball feature articles for Inside Sports magazine and is currently writing his second book. In May 1985, Harper & Row published his book titled The Palmer Way to Fitness. Keeping fit has always been a part of his regime. Jim Palmer’s 22 minute total body workout video was just completed and is to be marketed early 1995. Meticulous and a perfectionist, and never satisfied simply by a job well-done, Jim strives for the best.
A gentleman in every respect, keynote speaker Jim Palmer has served for over two decades as the national sports chairman for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and when traveling he stops at local chapters, visits youngsters in hospitals, makes radio tapes and appears at benefits. At Jim’s request, the royalties from his famous poster ad for Jockey are donated to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. In May 1993, Jim was the commencement speaker for Carthage College and received an Honorary Doctorate of Education for his contributions to American culture and his dedication to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. In September 1994, he hosted his 4th Celebrity Golf Tournament to benefit CF. All four tournaments were enormously successful. Additionally, he has made public service announcements and assisted in a variety of charitable and community causes including D.A.R.E., Arthritis, Alzheimer’s, Grant-A-Wish and local Recycling Programs.
In contrast to his superstar status, Jim is quiet, determined, goal oriented and unassuming. When not on the road, he enjoys gardening at his Baltimore home. His recent focus on golf has him approaching scratch golf play. He plays several Celebrity Golf Tournaments each year, including the prestigious Bob Hope Invitation and the Crosby. Jim also likes playing tennis and racquetball and enjoys biking and skiing. He relaxes by listening to music and reading books and sports publications. Jim lives with his wife Joni, and has two daughters and a step-son; Jamie, a graduate of William Smith College, Kelly, who graduated from the University of Colorado and P.J., who is currently at the University of Maryland.
Speaker Jim Palmer