Thoughts on Jamie Moyer
After Jamie Moyer was released by the Colorado Rockies, the Baltimore Orioles signed him and assigned him to the Norfolk Tides. He’ll likely be given several starts, after which the Orioles will determine whether or not he can be a useful addition to their major-league team. Moyer, of course, is a modern-day story, a 49-year-old pitcher who is coming back from an injury that cost him the 2011 season. He signed with Colorado and was the winning pitcher in two games.
I’ve seen Jamie Moyer pitch twice. I lived and worked in Cincinnati between 1987 and 1989, and worked in a building across the Interstate from Riverfront Stadium. I grew up as a Cub fan, and so tried to attend as many Cubs-Reds games as I could. I saw Moyer pitch in two of those games – a 1987 win and a 1988 loss. I really don’t remember anything noteworthy about Moyer’s performance; I would have tried harder if I had known the trajectory of Moyer’s career.
But what I DO know is that Moyer’s opponent in his 1987 start was Jerry Reuss, who was at the end of a career somewhat similar to Moyer’s. My friend Mike Holtzclaw speculated that if we looked hard enough, we might be able to cover a large amount of the history of baseball through Jamie Moyer’s career — he started against Jerry Reuss, whose first full season was 1970, and thus may have started against someone who pitched in the mid-1950′s. As it turns out, Moyer made his major-league debut in 1986, starting against Steve Carlton. Carlton was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1994, eighteen years ago.
On the other end of his career, Moyer made a 2012 start against Arizona rookie Patrick Corbin. While it’s too early to project Corbin’s career, he’s a highly-regarded prospect and could have a ten-year career. So, Moyer has started games against pitchers whose careers could span 1965-2022 — 57 years.