Rockies’ Moyer, 49, becomes oldest pitcher to win game
Colorado Rockies pitcher Jamie Moyer leads his team to a 5-3 win against the San Diego Padres on Tuesday night in Denver.
April 18th, 2012
09:27 AM ET

Rockies’ Moyer, 49, becomes oldest pitcher to win game

Baseball’s ageless wonder has become one for the ages.

The Colorado Rockies’ Jamie Moyer at 49 years and 150 days of age on Tuesday night became the oldest pitcher in Major League Baseball history to win a game, surrendering two unearned runs in seven innings to guide his new team past the San Diego Padres 5-3 in Denver.

He also tied Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Palmer for 34th on the all-time wins list at 268.

The previous oldest pitcher to win a game in the majors was the Brooklyn Dodgers’ Jack Quinn, who was 49 years and 70 days old when he beat the St. Louis Cardinals in 1932.

Moyer said it was a special night for him, but he said that during the game he was more concerned about having the Rockies finish their nine-game home stand with a winning record than history, according to MLB.com.

"For me to put that in front of the game really would be unfair to my teammates, unfair to myself," Moyer said, according to MLB.com. "It would tell me also that my focus and my attention were in the wrong place.”

Baseball’s attention is now focused on the man who easily could have given up the game two years ago, when already the oldest active player he injured his elbow.

In May 2010 his 24th year in the big leagues the pitcher, then with the Philadelphia Phillies, looked like he was going to enjoy another strong season as he became the oldest player to pitch a shutout with a two-hitter against the Atlanta Braves. But he hurt his elbow two months later, and again while pitching in the Dominican Republic in late fall. In December 2010, he had Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery, named for the famed pitcher who had it in the 1970s at age 31.

Moyer said he intended to come back to the game, but the surgery generally requires a year of rehabilitation for pitchers. Entering this spring training, he joined the Rockies without a guaranteed roster spot.

But he pitched his way onto the starting rotation and has had a not-too-shabby 2.55 earned-run average in three starts this year. And he's become the most aged major-league hurler to return from Tommy John surgery.

After the win Tuesday, Moyer got slightly emotional.

"It's my life," Moyer said. "It's pretty much all I know. It's pretty much all I've done my whole life. I'm still able to live the dream."

Moyer is one of only four known players to have pitched in the majors at or beyond 49: Satchel Paige (59, in a one-time special appearance), Quinn (50) and Hoyt Wilhelm (49) were the others. Though Moyer’s fastball has dipped into the low 80s and upper 70s, he’s known to baffle his opponents with his change-up.

His record is now 268-206. Of his 268 wins, all but 34 came after he turned 30.

Moyer’s career, which began in 1986 with the Chicago Cubs (when Ronald Reagan was president and you could get a gallon of gas for 93 cents), is older than the Rockies team itself, which debuted in 1993. He also started playing before six people on the Rockies’ active roster were born.

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Filed under: Baseball • Colorado • Sports
soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. Big Fan

    Congrats to Mr. Moyer. He doesn't just throw the ball, he "pitches" !!

    April 18, 2012 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Mr. Wilson

      He needs to be vary very careful. What if he fell and couldn't get up?

      April 18, 2012 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  2. Pedro' Gonzales

    He is too old. If his family loved him then he would be in a nursing home where he would be all safe. He could fall and break a hip out there or anything. Old people have to be careful.

    April 18, 2012 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Tannim

      He can play better than you can, as evidenced by the fact that he is and you're not.

      April 18, 2012 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
    • ed

      Pedro: He's only 49 and not at an age where having a miocardio infarction on the mound is a possibility. He's in good shape and proved to the world what having strong determination can do. I bet he'll pitch next year too and possiblty the year after since his pitching style is not too stressful & he can get the job done.

      April 18, 2012 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  3. Up the Rebels

    Grand job Mr. Moyer, have ye thought about pitching for the Red Sox ??

    April 18, 2012 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
    • longtooth

      The Red Sox used to be known as a country club and old age home, but no more. Still, yes, we can use a guy that loves the game as much as he does.

      April 18, 2012 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
  4. Stan D

    This should be against the law. Just like the players using steroids. No one wants to see some geriatric out there playing with balls. It is just gross.

    April 18, 2012 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
  5. Paul M

    What about Satchel Paige? But kudos to Jaimie Moyer!

    April 18, 2012 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Steve Johnson

      Moyer is not the oldest winning pitcher. Moyer is in a tie with 46 year old Satchel who won 12 games with the American League St louis Browns in 1952.

      April 18, 2012 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
    • TheMovieFan

      The article mentions him.

      April 18, 2012 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  6. Lem

    He plays with balls. Dang ball player. : )

    April 18, 2012 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
  7. Paul M

    My error! Satchel Paige pitched in the Majors when he was 59, but wasn't a winning pitcher.

    April 18, 2012 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
  8. Al Z

    Congrats to Mr. Moyer. Not completely over the hill, or the mound, yet. But I thought Satchel Paige was older when he finally got into the big leagues.

    April 18, 2012 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
  9. chefjeff

    Good for you, Jamie Moyer! Congrats from South Philly.

    April 18, 2012 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
  10. nbbc

    Great job Jamie. Keep it up. You are proving that youth is not always the best especially in sports. Age brings maturity and a smarter way to get the job done. Seattle Mariners still like and respect you.

    April 18, 2012 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
  11. Michael Vick©™

    They guy probably would still be playing when Ken Griffey III comes up in the majors.

    April 18, 2012 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
    • ed

      Now that was a real good one!

      April 18, 2012 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  12. montyross

    with zero population growth in America it is middle aged man's world....

    April 18, 2012 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  13. john

    Good for you Moyer. Just goes to show your not too old to play the game. Show them how it's done! (how many innings did he pitch?)

    April 18, 2012 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
  14. Ron Bovay.

    I thought Satgeil Pagewas the oldest at 57 or 59.

    April 18, 2012 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      He was...Moyer's the oldest to WIN a game.

      April 18, 2012 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  15. Dianna Moore

    As a long-time Mariner fan...it couldn't have happened to a nicer guy!

    April 18, 2012 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
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