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Palmer next to be honored

Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Palmer will be the next Orioles great to have his statue unveiled as part of the Legend Celebration Series today at Camden Yards. Gates open at 2 p.m. and the ceremonies will begin at 2:15.

Palmer's statue will be the third unveiled this season, but for Palmer, it is much more than just a statue of him.

"I get kind of emotional because it kind of, again, symbolizes for me all the things I was able to be a part of," Palmer said recently. "I didn't win all those games by myself. I didn't get to the Hall of Fame by myself. I pitched with great staffs, guys that ended up in the Hall of Fame, guys that were Gold Glove winners, guys that were Most Valuable Players like Boog Powell, and guys that ... didn't get the notoriety that they did."

The former Orioles right-hander, nicknamed "Cakes," was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1990 on the first ballot, and finished with a career record of 268-152, a lifetime ERA of 2.86 and 2,212 strikeouts. Palmer was a six-time All-Star, three-time Cy Young Award winner, and a member of all three Orioles' World Series championship teams.

Palmer began pitching for the Orioles when he was just 19, and did not spend very much time in the minors.

"I played for Cal Ripken Sr., he was my first manager," Palmer said. "I not only learned from him in A-ball but he was also my manager in instructional league so I couldn't have a better guy to start me off, as far as work ethic and being prepared and having fun and having a passion for what you're doing, so that was pretty much the building blocks of the foundation of what I did."

Although he retired in 1984, Palmer is still very much around the game and still serves as a color commentator for MASN. Palmer also still talks to players around the league, and is able to give them his advice.

"We go to Detroit and see Miguel Cabrera and I had a chance to actually sit on the bench with him and this guy doesn't hit the way he does being stupid," Palmer said. "I mean, he really has a great idea. He reminds me very much of guys that I played with like Frank Robinson and Cal [Ripken Jr.], Eddie Murray."

When Palmer's statue is unveiled today, he will be commemorated forever along with the other Hall of Fame Orioles. Frank Robinson and Earl Weaver's statues are already there, with Eddie Murray, Cal Ripken Jr. and Brooks Robinson still to come.

But for Palmer, he will see much more.

"I may be the guy that has the statue out here," Palmer said, "but I think that statue kind of symbolizes what we were able to do here as an organization and as a team."

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