Perry's power links him with astronaut Armstrong

Perry's power links him with astronaut Armstrong

HOUSTON -- Learning of famed astronaut Neil Armstrong's death last Saturday awakened an indelible memory for Gaylord Perry.

"As soon as I heard about that, I thought, 'We've got connections,'" Perry told on Tuesday.

Perry was referring to the events of July 20, 1969, when Apollo 11 landed on the moon and Armstrong became the first person to walk the lunar surface. That afternoon, Perry homered off Los Angeles left-hander Claude Osteen in the Giants' 7-3 victory at Candlestick Park.

For those in the know, the feats were related. Five years earlier, then-Giants manager Alvin Dark teased Perry about his poor hitting by saying, "They'll put a man on the moon before he hits a home run."

Perry said that he had forgotten about Dark's remark until after the game, when San Francisco Examiner reporter Harry Jupiter reminded him.

"When he refreshed my memory, I knew exactly what he was talking about," Perry said. "It's a great conversation piece."