Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Old Man Moyer

In 1980 Jamie Moyer decided it would be prudent to skip a day of school during his senior year at Souderton Area High School in Souderton, PA to watch the parade for the 1980 World Champion Philadelphia Phillies. Little did he know that 30 years later, he would still be playing professional baseball at the age of 47 years old. It seems that every time Old Man Moyer laces up his cleats he is breaking another record. Everybody seems to laugh or brush him off, but Moyer just keeps on playing and winning. With no sign of stopping, the number 50 on Moyer's jersey may be more than a number, it may be a goal for him.

Jamie Moyer is entering rarified air in Major League Baseball. At the age of 47 he is starting to set all the records for "oldest player to...". However, he doesn't appear to be slowing down at all. He is tied for fourth in the NL in wins with nine, and save for one terrible outing against the Red Sox has been pitching lights out this year.

This season, Moyer has become the oldest player to pitch a shutout, the oldest player to beat the Yankees, the only player ever to pitch a shutout in four different decades, and the all-time MLB leader in home runs allowed with 506. Believe me, you have to be a really good player to accomplish all of these things. Oh yeah and one more thing, he's inching closer to 300 wins with 267.

If Moyer can play until he is 50, which right now doesn't seem unreasonable, winning 300 games could be a real possibility for him. If he can win eight more starts this year, he would be at 275 wins for his career. Then he would only need an average of 12.5 wins his next two years to get to the magic number of 300. This may seem unreasonable for such an old fella, but if you take a look at his past seven seasons his lowest win total was 11, while his highest was 16. If he stays with the Phils or signs on with another offensive powerhouse, that is not out of the question at all. I think this is one of the main reasons that Old Man Moyer is still playing, but regardless of whether he reaches 300 wins or not, he is a no-brainer for the Hall of Fame in my book.

I can not overstress the fact that one has to be a really good pitcher to stay in the game as long as Moyer has. Only five players in Major League History have played the game at an older age than Moyer, and three of them are enshrined in Cooperstown. Moyer has an All-Star appearance (and perhaps another this year), a World Series championship, and a buttload of awards for his philanthropy and community service. He deserves to be enshrined in Cooperstown as one of the game's all-time great people, if not all-time great players. If you disagree with me, I'd like to see you go out there throwing 78 mph gas at the age of 47 and try to get anyone out.

When Jamie Moyer skipped school to go to the Phillies parade in 1980, did he ever think that someday maybe his son would skip school to go see him enshrined or Cooperstown, or to see him win his 300th game? Probably not, but both are a definite possibility for Old Man Moyer.

1 comment: