Gaylord Perry & Christine McVie
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Perry, whose decades-spanning baseball career generated as many laughs as wins, died at his home in Gaffney, S.C., on Dec. 1. He was 84. Perry got his major league call-up with the San Francisco Giants in 1962 but struggled until a veteran teammate taught him to doctor the baseball. Perry’s quick mastery of the illegal spitball—by means of spittle, grease, or Vaseline—helped him on his way to a Hall of Fame career in which he secured two Cy Young awards and amassed more than 300 wins. But until publishing his 1974 midcareer confessional Me and the Spitter, Perry’s tongue-in-cheek denials had become routine. When asked by a TV reporter whether her father threw a greaseball, Perry’s young daughter quickly replied, “It’s a hard slider.”
McVie, who lent her piano and vocal talents to the band Fleetwood Mac for decades, died after a short illness on Nov. 30 at age 79. McVie began exploring her musical talents in London in the late 1960s, eventually joining a new project named Fleetwood Mac with her new husband, bassist John McVie. After moving to the U.S. in 1974 and joining with guitarist Lindsey Buckingham and singer Stevie Nicks, McVie emerged as one of the group’s top songwriters and the band caught fire. Her Top 10 hit “You Make Loving Fun” for the group’s Rumours album reflected an affair that coincided with the end of her marriage—but not of her musical partnership—with McVie.