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Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Palmer Vs. Palmer

Illustration for article titled Palmer Vs. Palmer

Over at the Daily Beast, I reprinted Tom Boswell's fine 1983 portrait of Jim Palmer:

"I go out for Jockey, and people—guys in sales and vice-presidents—they're amazed at how I can get along with people," Palmer says. "Well, my politeness definitely comes from my parents. My mother was one of six kids and her father died when he was forty. She went to New York and got a job in a small dress shop and put her brother through Juilliard…When she met my father, it wasn't like she didn't know the value of a dollar…She would give her last dime to anybody who asked for it. She was certainly aware of how other people live, because she'd gone through it…

"What's life all about," he says, "except using your experiences to figure out how you want to conduct yourself? I've seen too many ballplayers go to dinners where they're getting fifteen hundred dollars or two thousand dollars and not want to sign autographs. I mean, why are you there?"

There are those, however, who don't equate sangfroid and good manners with maturity.

"Many people grow up late," says Weaver. "But Palmer still hasn't grown up . . . [pause] . . . but he's getting closer.

"Jim has a hard time making difficult decisions. For instance, is his divorce final? No? I didn't think so. It's been up in the air for years. He hasn't faced that," says Weaver. "He's still got his security blankets. He hasn't let go of any of them, has he? Once he stands in front of that judge and hears him say what the alimony is and what the child support is and how much he can see his own children . . . when he starts facing things like that, he'll start finding out what it means to be an adult."

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