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Wednesday (In praise and awe of Jamie Moyer) edition: Wha' Happened?

  • Blog Post by: Michael Rand
  • April 18, 2012 - 8:30 AM

Jamie Moyer made his MLB debut at the fairly normal age of 23. He went 7-4 that season for the Cubs. Some of his teammates included Ron Cey, Terry Francona and -- sorry, flashback alert -- former Twins reliever Ron Davis.

That was 1986.

And Moyer is STILL PITCHING.

There are not loud enough voices or enough ALL-CAPS to fully appreciate this fact. Moyer will turn 50 in November. And last night, he tossed seven innings without allowing an earned run for the Rockies -- becoming the oldest pitcher to ever win a Major League game.

Moyer never won more than 13 games in a season until he was 34, but now he has 268 career victories -- the same as Hall of Famer Jim Palmer.

He won at least 20 games twice. He finished sixth or better in the Cy Young vote three times. He was an All-Star, but just once. Moyer has done it all with a fastball that, if not snagged by the catcher, might not roll all the way to the backstop. He is the ultimate soft-tossing, speed-changing lefty -- except he has lasted a good 10 to 15 years longer than most of the rest of his ilk.

He has, according to Elias, pitched to 8 percent of all hitters in MLB history.

Longevity is often used as an argument against putting certain players in the Hall of Fame -- with the argument being that we place to much emphasis on cumulative stats and milestones and shouldn't reward players who hang on and hit those numbers during later, mediocre seasons. To us, though, Moyer should get some Cooperstown consideration.

His career WAR is in the top 100 all-time and is better than some HOFers. He's tied for 35th all-time in wins. If Javier Vazquez is really retired, he is the current active strikeout leader. He's recorded double-digit victories -- including a 21-win season -- six times since he turned 40.

Even if he doesn't make it all the way to Cooperstown, we all need to marvel at what he's done -- and, yes, what he's still doing.

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