10 Amazing Facts About MLB Pitcher Jamie Moyer
On Tuesday, Colorado Rockies pitcher Jamie Moyer made it into the record books. At 49, Moyer became the oldest pitcher ever to win a game in the major leagues, going seven innings in a 5-3 victory over the San Diego Padres.
In honor of Moyer, previously the subject of several SecondAct articles, here are a few amazing facts about him and his historic win.1. Moyer didn't need heat to win. None of the pitches Moyer threw in his victory exceeded 79 miles per hour, according to The Denver Post. That's actually slower than his reported top speed of 81 mph, and all the more remarkable when you take into account the baseball truism that a pitcher generally has to be able to throw a 90 mph fastball just to be able to stick in the majors. 2. Versatility matters. As The Denver Post put it Tuesday, Moyer is the "raider of a lost art," a pitcher who gets by on guile and technique rather than physically overpowering batters. On Tuesday, in his 87 pitches, he artfully blended in 27 changeups and four curveballs to go with the fastballs.
3. Baseball is still a thinking man's game. In the sixth inning, after the Padres had shaved the deficit to 3-2 and had the tying run on third, Moyer outwitted hitter Jeremy Hermida with one of his junk pitches, tricking the batter into taking a weak swing that was fielded by catcher Wilin Rosario to extinguish the rally.
4. Old-school preparation still works. Tuesday afternoon, Moyer sat in front of his locker and went through his usual pregame ritual: studying the composition-style notebook in which he meticulously records hitters' tendencies and jots down reminders of how he wants to attack them. If pen and paper seems a bit archaic in the iPad age, consider this: Until two seasons ago, Moyer actually used to record games on VHS tape to study them.
5. It pays to stick it out. People have been trying to get Moyer to hang up his glove and spikes for a long time, as this USA Today story explains. The Chicago Cubs actually offered him a full-time coaching job -- 20 years ago. Moyer instead chose to believe that his best years as an athlete were still ahead. And they were. ESPN notes that Moyer now has 268 career victories, more than pitching immortals such as Bob Feller, Carl Hubbell, Bob Gibson and Juan Marichal.
6. Moyer seems to get better as he ages. He logged 234 of his wins after turning 30, and has a winning percentage of better than .600 in that span.
7. Cooperstown already is calling. The Hall of Fame has contacted Moyer and requested some sort of memorabilia for its collection to commemorate Moyer's record-setting performance, the Associated Press reports.
8. It takes an old guy to get a hit against one. The Padres' 36-year-old Mark Kotsay, who missed the first 10 games of 2012 due to a strained calf muscle, hit two singles off Moyer -- against whom he's got a .583 career average. The two players have a friendly rivalry and exchanged grins after each of Kotsay's hits.
9. It took a long time to break the record. I'm not just talking about Moyer's 25 major league seasons and the more than 58,000 pitches he's thrown while playing for teams including the Rockies, Philadelphia Phillies, Seattle Mariners and Chicago Cubs. Before Moyer's win Tuesday, the record was held by the Brooklyn Dodgers' Jack Quinn, who was 80 days younger than Moyer is now when he got a win against the St. Louis Cardinals in 1932.
10. How old is Moyer? Let's just say that... USA Today columnist Mike Lopresti notes that Moyer is older than eight major league managers and only three years younger than the states of Alaska and Hawaii. In his first game for the Chicago Cubs in 1986, he beat the Phillies' Steve Carlton, who was elected to the Hall of Fame -- 18 years ago.
Read more: 5 Winning Baseball Books
Previous Post: 6 Tips for a Green Job Hunt
Next Post: Midlife Weight-Loss Secrets Revealed!