Jim Palmer says Roberto Clemente Was Most Feared Hitter He Faced & Shares Legendary Orioles Stories

Oliwia Urban 


In a recent interview, six-time All-Star, three-time Cy Young winner, and three-time champ Jim Palmer shared his experiences as a professional baseball player. Palmer discussed his time playing with legendary teammates and under the guidance of one of the greatest managers in baseball history, Earl Weaver. He also revealed his thoughts on current players and reminisced about his idol from his childhood. Furthermore, Palmer discussed the most feared hitter he faced, emphasizing the exceptional skills of Roberto Clemente.

Playing with Legendary Teammates

Jim Palmer began by reflecting on his career and the privilege of playing alongside remarkable teammates. In his early years, he had the opportunity to learn from veteran Robin Roberts, who was on his way to Cooperstown with an impressive record. Later, Palmer played alongside Mike Cuellar and Dave McNally, who were instrumental in the team’s success. The Orioles had an exceptional staff, with three 20-game winners in 1970, and four in 1971. Palmer expressed his gratitude for having such talented teammates, knowing that if he couldn’t secure a win, one of his fellow pitchers would.

The Influence of Earl Weaver

Palmer also acknowledged the significant impact of Earl Weaver, one of the greatest managers in baseball history. Weaver’s unique approach to the game taught Palmer the value of the slider, which became one of his most effective pitches. Weaver emphasized the importance of teamwork and statistics, and his guidance helped the team consistently win games. Although their relationship was sometimes characterized by love and hate, Palmer recognized Weaver’s role in his success and the team’s overall performance.

Today’s Players and Self-Reflection

When asked about current players, Palmer acknowledged the abundance of talented pitchers in the game. He mentioned dominant pitchers like Aroldis Chapman and Tim Lincecum, who achieved great success despite their physical stature. Palmer attributed his own success to the players who came before him, including legendary names such as Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio, and Bob Feller. He expressed his admiration for their skills and emphasized the importance of performing well on the field, regardless of financial rewards.

Childhood Idol and Rivalries

Growing up in New York as a Yankees fan, Palmer idolized the players of that era. However, he acknowledged that his dream of playing for the Yankees never materialized. Instead, he found success against them as a starting pitcher. Palmer also recalled his encounters with formidable opponents, such as the Big Red Machine and the legendary Hank Aaron. When asked about the most feared hitter he faced, Palmer unequivocally named Roberto Clemente. He highlighted Clemente’s exceptional abilities, recounting a memorable home run hit by Clemente during an All-Star Game.


Jim Palmer’s interview provides fascinating insights into his career and experiences as a professional baseball player. From his remarkable teammates to the influential guidance of Earl Weaver, Palmer’s journey in the game was filled with noteworthy moments. He expressed his admiration for current players and reflected on his childhood idol and rivalries. Palmer’s recognition of Roberto Clemente as the most feared hitter he faced underscores the talent and impact of one of baseball’s all-time greats.