One of the strange yet typical mid-life moments is the realization that your favorite sports team isn't going to call you up to the big leagues. This happens as you become older than everyone playing in the sport. In fact, you realize you've become older than everyone coaching the sport (for example, the D1 head coaches at all the local universities are all younger than I am.) In the pro ranks, such an event, for me, occurred many, many years ago in basketball, football and hockey where sports' careers usually end before 30. (Thank goodness for golf, by the way, where occasionally a Freddie Couples or Tom Watson leads a major in the third round--even if they run out of gas and end up losing in the final round, but I digress....) In baseball, however, my new favorite player is Jamie Moyer. I started following baseball's oldest player a couple of years ago when, pitching for the Phillies, he was even then the last remaining player older than I. Moyer messed up his elbow and sat out the entire season last year but promised to try and make a comeback. I kinda had my doubts about such a bold statement, but I nonetheless cheered him on. Sure enough, the 49-year old Moyer showed up at Colorado's spring training and ended up cracking the starting rotation. I should point out that when Jamie entered the big leagues in 1987, the Rockies didn't even exist. Anyway, Moyer started the season with a couple of losses, but earlier this week he beat the San Diego Padres fair and square and broke an 82-year old record by becoming the oldest modern era pitcher, at 49-years and 150-days, to win a game. Although his fastball rarely tops 78 mph, he gives us old pharts hope that maybe there still a chance, still a call in our future by some team who is desperate for a light hitting first baseman with a bad back... Anyway, by all accounts, Jamie is a nice guy, too, and gives freely of his time towards a charity he and his wife oversee.
Meanwhile, if perchance I meet him on the street, I might even ask for his autograph someday...that's because he still fits in my own personal autograph rule: "I will not ask someone younger than me for their autograph." Obviously, I'm quickly running out of potential signees (however, there is an asterisk for "superstars"...if Tiger is standing next to me at the Piggly-Wiggly in Boca Raton, I reserve the right to make an exception to the rule!)
So three cheers and a tube of Ben-Gay for Jamie Moyer! Keep on mixing up those pitches as long as you are able. And to baseball GM's, if you're looking for someone to suit up to be the "second oldest guy in baseball," I look pretty decent in a uniform--of course, you'll need to get past the whole "belly thing."