Hall of Famer and Adoptee Jim Palmer Reconnects with Birth Family

Jim Palmer, former pitcher for the Orioles, found his birth family through Ancestry DNA testing. Last week he was given the opportunity to see a photograph of his biological mother for the first time. Six weeks ago he was meeting cousins Pat Moroney and Helen Slattery in person and learning all sorts of information about his deceased parents.

The DNA test came at the hands of Palmer’s wife, Susan. It was on her urging and with her encouragement that the reunion took place. She ordered and mailed in the test with Palmers permission. Then she did the legwork needed once the results came in. She was able to trace his family tree all the way back to Ireland, but conveniently found his first cousin, Moroney, just outside NYC. He ended up being a fan. He had traveled to the stadium many times, all the while not knowing they were related.

Palmer found out he was adopted when he was seven years old. He adored the parents who raised him. Sadly, his father died when he was very young. He ended up being so fond of his step-father that when he was 12 years old, he took his last name. He never really felt a strong desire to search for his birth family, although he did appear with other celebrities who were adopted on the Sally Jessy Raphael Show.

Palmer had a successful baseball career. He played from 1965 until 1984. The team won 268 games during that time, including three World Series. He was inducted to the Hall of Fame in 1990.

Thankful to his wife for all of her efforts, he is making up for lost time with his biological family. He says, “I imagine that, as this progresses, I’ll meet more and more relatives and learn more about where I came from.”