Hall of Fame pitcher Gaylord Perry was one of the most accomplished and colorful pitchers in baseball history, winning two Cy Young Awards and intriguing hitters and baseball fans alike with his mastery of the spitball.
Perry died on Dec. 1 at age 84.
A native of Williamston, N.C., Perry was the first player to win the Cy Young in both leagues, capturing the top pitching award for the Cleveland Indians in 1972 and San Diego Padres in 1978.
A five-time All-Star, Perry pitched for eight major league teams from 1962-83. He finished his career with a 314-255 record with 3,554 strikeouts. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1991.
The Texas Rangers, whom Perry played for twice, called him “a fierce competitor every time he took the ball.”
Perry was perhaps best known for mastering the infamous spitball, which he wrote about in his 1974 autobiography “Me and the Spitter.” Perry wrote that he learned the pitch while playing for the San Francisco Giants in 1962-63 and threw it for the first time in a game against the New York Mets in 1964. He stopped throwing it in 1968, he wrote, after MLB ruled that pitchers could no longer touch their fingers to their mouth, opting to use other foreign substances like petroleum jelly.
Perry was one of many current and former sports stars who passed away in 2022, including fellow Hall of Fame pitcher and Cy Young winner Bruce Sutter and Hall of Fame baseball broadcaster Vin Scully.
The sports world and collecting community also lost NBA legend Bill Russell, a 12-time All-Star, five-time league MVP and winner of 11 NBA championships with the Boston Celtics. Russell, who passed away on July 31 at age 88, was also a giant in the sports collectibles world. His personal memorabilia collection sold for more than $7.4 million last year, highlighted by a game-worn jersey from the 1969 NBA Finals for $1.1 million. His 1957 Topps rookie card sold for a record $630,000 in 2021.
Here's a look at other notable sports stars and personalities who passed away in 2022:
Basketball Hall of Famer Bill Russell, 88.
NFL player, head coach and nine-time Super Bowl participant Dan Reeves, 77
Major league pitcher Larry Bittner, 75.
Major league pitcher Jim Corsi, 60.
NFL defensive lineman Ross Browner, 67.
Syracuse head coach and NFL defensive coordinator Greg Robinson, 70.
NFL All-Pro offensive lineman Ralph Neely, 78.
NFL Hall of Fame receiver Don Maynard, 86.
Kentucky basketball head coach Joe B. Hall, 93.
Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer and Women’s Basketball Hall of Famer Lusia Harris, 66.
Masters champion and PGA Tour player Bob Goalby, 92.
NHL and New York Islanders player Clark Gillies, 67.
Major league outfielder Gene Clines, 75.
Major league outfielder Gerald Williams, 55.
Major league infielder/DH Jeremy Giambi, 47.
Pro Football Hall of Famer and Washington Redskins receiver Charley Taylor, 80.
NHL player, coach and general manager Emile Francis, 95.
Major league outfielder Julio Cruz, 67.
NFL Pro-Bowl wide receiver Ken Burrough, 73.
NFL running back Lionel “Little Train” James, 59.
NBA head coach and executive Richard Versace, 81.
San Diego Chargers offensive lineman Shane Olivea, 40.
Major league pitcher Odalis Perez, 44.
WWE and WCW star Scott Hall (Razor Ramon), 63.
NHL and New York Islanders player Jean Potvin, 72.
Major League player and two-time National League batting champion Tommy Davis, 83.
College basketball and NBA head coach Lee Rose, 85.
Pro Football Hall of Famer and Pro Bowl lineman Rayfield Wright, 76.
Ohio State and NFL quarterback Dwayne Haskins, 24.
NFL running back Gary Brown, 52.
NHL player and New York Islander Mike Bossy, 65.
NFL and Oakland Raiders quarterback Daryle Lamonica, 80.
NHL star Guy Lafleur, 70.
NFL quarterback John Stofa, 79.
NBA All-Star Bob Lanier, 73.
Pro football star and 1964 AFL MVP Gino Cappelletti, 89.
Major league pitcher David West, 57.
Noted baseball writer and author Roger Angell, 101.
NFL running back Marion Barber, 38.
NFL Pro Bowl and All-Pro running back Don Perkins, 84.
NASCAR Hall of Famer and race promoter Bruton Smith, 95.
NFL defensive lineman and broadcaster Tony Siragusa, 55.
Pro Football and College Football Hall of Famer Huge McElhenny, 93.
PGA Tour golfer Dale Douglass, 86.
Longtime Dodgers scout Mike Brito, 87.
Major league outfielder Dwight Smith, 58.
Baseball Hall of Famer and legendary broadcaster Vin Scully, 94.
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PGA star and 1973 British Open champion Tom Weiskopf, 79.
Pro Football Hall of Famer, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback and NFL broadcaster Len Dawson, 87.
Longtime NFL assistant coach and offensive coordinator Ernie Zampese, 86.
Major league player and former Philadelphia Phillies general manager Lee Thomas, 86.
NFL defensive lineman and college coach Steve White, 48.
Professional boxer Earnie Shavers, 78.
NFL offensive lineman and college football coach Guy Morriss, 71.
College Football Hall of Fame coach Frank Cignetti Sr., 84.
Major league infielder, legendary base stealer and NL MVP Maury Wills, 89.
NBA, ABA and college basketball player Greg Lee, 70.
NFL tight end Gavin Escobar, 31.
NFL offensive lineman Marvin Powell, 67.
NFL offensive lineman Jim Sweeney, 60.
WNBA player and women’s college basketball coach Tiffany Jackson, 37.
Baseball Hall of Fame closer and 1979 NL Cy Young Award winner Bruce Sutter, 69.
Legendary Georgia Bulldogs head coach Vince Dooley, 90.
NFL assistant coach Adam Zimmer, 38.
NFL head coach and executive John McVay, 91.
Pro Football Hall of Fame punter Ray Guy, 72.
PGA Tour winner and Ryder Cup captain Dow Finsterwald, 93.
Hockey Hall of Famer and Toronto Maple Leafs legend Borje Salming, 71.
Hall of Fame pitcher and 300-game winner Gaylord Perry, 84.
College basketball head coach Joe Williams, 87.
LPGA founder Shirley Spork, 94.
College basketball star and coach Mike Pratt, 73.
NFL player Jaylon Ferguson, 26.
AFL-NFL star, San Diego Chargers quarterback and six-time Pro Bowler John Hadl, 82.
College football and Mississippi State head coach Mike Leach, 61.
NBA player, coach and College Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Paul Silas, 79.
Legendary tennis coach Nick Bollettieri, 91.
Former Philadelphia Phillies and St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Curt Simmons, 93.
Former Green Bay Packers player and Lambeau Field PA announcers Gary Knafelc, 90.
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Tom Browning, 62.
Pro Football Hall of Famer and Pittsburgh Steelers legend Franco Harris, 72.
NFL and Denver Broncos running back Ronnie Hillman, 31.
Golf and LPGA legend Kathy Whitworth, 83.
Brazilian and international soccer legend Pele, 82.