I just finished reading Tyler Kepner's article At 49, Jamie Moyer Is Slower, but Not Stopping from today's New York Times. Before I go into what I think of Jamie Moyer, I wanted to highlight some facts that Kepner highlights:
- At 49 years 5 months and 3 days Moyer would stand to become the oldest pitcher to win a game
- He is currently older than 8 managers and 18 general managers
- Started playing professionally before 15 players on the Rockies 40-man roster were born
- Played in 49 different ballparks of which 14 no longer exist
- Played in the last game in Wrigley Field before the lights were installed (1988)
- Second in career wins after the age of 40 with 103 (Phil Niekro had 121)
- Career leader in Home runs allowed with 511
What do I think of Jamie Moyer? I think the man is a role-model. He was told in college that he had a very slow fastball. It wouldn't even register over 90mph. Most ballplayers would have been discouraged to even continue, but not Moyer. He continued to work on his trade, giving his all to perfect his skills which was recognized by major league scouts. His dedication led to his being drafted by the Chicago Cubs. He would struggle at the major league level eventually being released by the Cubs in 1991 and being offered a chance to work as a coach with the team. Most players would have jumped at that chance, but not Moyer.
He decided to start from scratch with the AAA Toledo Mud Hens for the entire 1992 season and then playing with the Baltimore Orioles from 1993-1995 before being traded to the Seattle Mariners. It was with the Mariners that Moyer made himself known, not as a power pitcher, but as a pitcher who could succeed by hitting his spots with finesse and savvy. Working within his strengths not his perceived weaknesses. That was in 1996. Here we are now in 2013. 2013!!!! And Moyer is still out there, trying to earn a spot in the rotation of the Colorado Rockies.
Here's to determination and outright love for the game. Moyer doesn't do it for the money or the adoration. He's not a primadonna who plays for the glory, preening like a peacock in front of the cameras. The man feels like he can still succeed at the level that he is used to playing at and will try to do so until he can't. Moyer has a dream and he is hoping to continue to live that dream by playing in the Major Leagues. I believe that if he reached the point in his career where he couldn't complete not due to age but due to skill, that he would thank the game for what it has given him and walk away into the sunset without any regrets.
If a child is out there looking for a role model to whom they can say, I want to be like someone, that someone should be Jamie Moyer. Continued success to you, you now have a lifelong fan in me rooting for you.
For Further Reading:
- Click Here to access Jamie Moyer's career statistics from BaseballReference.com
- Click Here to access the homepage of the Moyer Foundation, established by Jamie Moyer and his wife Karen Moyer