“I’m a great believer in luck and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.” — Thomas Jefferson
Jamie Moyer should have this quote written under his cap. It was made for him.
Moyer has been in baseball longer than maybe he should be. But even nearing the end of what has been an incredible, lengthy career, Moyer was able to set an impressive record on May 7, 2010. Against the Atlanta Braves – the Phillies toughest divisional opponent – the then 47-year old went the distance allowing just two hits on the evening. Neither crossed home plate and in the process Moyer became the oldest pitcher to toss a complete game shutout in the history of this fine sport.
Think about that: for all the talk that Moyer needed to hang ’em up and go on his merry way as he inched toward 50, his performance against the Braves was basically him throwing up a middle finger to those who said he couldn’t, he shouldn’t, he can’t.
In the 7-0 victory, Moyer’s line could have been mistaken for Roy Halladay‘s: 9 innning, 2 hits, 0 runs, 0 walks, 5 strikeouts, 105 pitches, 71 strikes. After the performance, Moyer was asked about the game ball and if it has a special meaning.
“What did I do with the ball?” Moyer said. “I think one of my kids has it. I don’t know if it’s in the [batting] cage and they’re hitting with it, or they’re going to give it to one of the dogs at home.”
When talking about looking back on some of his accomplishments later in his career, Moyer said, “I feel like there’s plenty of time when I retire to reflect on things. I’m sure at home we’ll talk about it tonight. It’ll be a topic of conversation. As far as sitting back, tomorrow I’ll probably sit and not necessarily think about what happened, but kind of rehearse the game in mind, go through the game again and be able to see pitches, and thoughts will come back.
“A lot of times at night that happens for me. I usually go sleepless when I pitch — win, lose or draw. It’s usually a long night for me, but it can be fun, because it’s nice to reenact things and see things. Maybe a thought that went through your head comes back. Something may come to mind.”
Using a dash of luck, a pinch of hard work, and heaps of dedication, Moyer put together the finest performance by an aging baseball player ever. Of course, in true Jamie Moyer fashion, he took it in stride.
(Photo: Associated Press)