This Day In Sports: Moyer lobs a historic MLB victory

April 17, 2012: Jamie Moyer of the Colorado Rockies becomes the oldest pitcher ever to win a major league game in a 5-3 victory over San Diego. The 49-year-old Moyer, with none of his 87 pitches topping 79 miles per hour, threw seven innings while earning his 268th career win in his 25th (and ultimately final) big league season. Six of the Padres that night hadn’t even been born when Moyer made his debut with the Chicago Cubs in 1986. Remarkably, Moyer had come back after missing the entire 2011 season due to Tommy John surgery.

Moyer also pitched for the Texas Rangers, St. Louis Cardinals, Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Seattle Mariners and Philadelphia Phillies. He’s one of only 31 players to appear in four different decades and the only player ever to pitch in 50 different big league ballparks. With that kind of longevity, you’d expect records on both sides of history. And yes, Moyer holds the MLB mark for most career home runs allowed at 522. Velocity was factor—by the time his career finished, his average fastball was clocked at about 80 miles per hour.

On May 16, 2012, Moyer became the oldest MLB player in history ever to bat in a run. Which makes you wonder kind of a hitter he was. Well, that was only the 15th RBI of his career. In exactly 400 at-bats, Moyer had only five extra-base hits, all doubles. But one thing he always did well was contribute to society. Moyer was especially community-involved during his years with the Mariners, winning the Roberto Clemente Award, Lou Gehrig Memorial Award and the Hutch Award in 2003 and the Branch Rickey Award in 2004.

Moyer spent more time with Seattle than any other team—over 10 seasons from 1996-2006. He was the starter in the first game ever played at Safeco Field in 1999, getting a no-decision against the San Diego Padres. Moyer’s only two 20-win seasons came with the M’s. The first was his 20-6 campaign in 2001, the best season in Seattle history with a 116-46 regular season record. The second was in 2003, when he set the Mariners record for victories by going 21-7 and was voted to play in his only All-Star Game. The only Seattle pitcher other than Moyer ever to win 20 games was Randy Johnson in 1997. Felix Hernandez never did.

(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment during the football season on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra. He also anchors four sports segments each weekday on 95.3 FM KTIK and one on News/Talk KBOI. His Scott Slant column runs every Wednesday.)

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