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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soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. The_Mick

    Steve Johnson wrote: "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." Steve, I don't know if you've got dislexia, but the second digit of Moyer's age is "9", not "6".

    April 18, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
    • sortakinda

      Not dyslexia. He just got things upside down, a little.

      April 18, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  2. jlf

    kudos to Jamie Moyer for such a stunning achievement. it just goes to show you no matter how old you are and if you have the courage and determination you can acccomplish what you set your mind too. DON'T EVER LET ANYONE TELL YOU YOU ARE TOO OLD!!!!!!!!.

    April 18, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
    • leandro

      everything here and I talked very little for a great example on and off the field, will win sempre.pq deserves.

      April 19, 2012 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
  3. tichael

    Age aside, he pitched a great game! Number of pitches and variations, everything but a spitball,you win em one man at a time, and you could see it in thd deliberate way he plays the game. Good to see an old sports figure hang in there and make a mark because of Talent not a press hype or gimmick. Longevity does not make for Greatness in any sport and this man, IMHO, while a Good player. will be in the record books due to longevity not greatness.

    April 18, 2012 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  4. CoryJ

    I had the privilege of watching Jamie Moyer pitch for the Seattle Mariners for a few years. I love the guy! His work ethic is outstanding and he's a smart, quiet quy. One of the best representatives both on and off the field MLB has ever had IMO.

    April 18, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Dan

    I loved watching him pitch for the Phillies, and I'm really glad to see he was able to come back from Tommy John surgery and continue doing what he loves. Not only is he a great ballplayer, but he is an all around awesome person. He and his wife are very active in charities, including the Jamie Moyer Foundation. Kudos to him, well done.

    April 18, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
  6. sortakinda

    Wow! A standing O for a guy who really deserves it!

    April 18, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  7. jeff

    hey-i believe Leroy "Satchel" Paige was 56 when he won a major league game in 1965....just saying......

    April 18, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • magnus

      That is incorrect. Satchel Paige won his last game in 1953, when he 47 years old. In 1965, when he was 59 years old, he was invited to start a MLB for a publicity stunt which he did (He pitched the first three innings, and did not record a decision). Thus, Satchel paige is the oldest pitcher to ever start a MLB game, but the oldest pitcher to ever win a MLB game belongs to Moyer.

      April 18, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  8. booyah

    And this is why baseball is just a game, not a sport.

    April 18, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Zenfluence

      I guess golf isn't a sport? What a "ignant" comment lol learn the definition of sport...

      April 18, 2012 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
  9. michael

    Back in days you could for a penny a rockhard pink slab of gum and a chance that you may get a photo of your favorite ball player baseball was far more than a game it was an equilizer, bonder of family ties, communitys amonp communitys, and much more. While many think it was a male thing upon grade school grounds come the lonp lunch breal both boys and girls gulped down or even skipped lunch in a hurry to Get out there and Play Ball on mixed teams. Fairness wasrequired, and not just towardr boy/girl but age/fat/skinny/disabled everyone got a chance. A baseball was shared with those to poor, no matter how hard or long you worked and saved to buy. From country boy in bib overalls bare feft or brogans white/Black, poor of the concrete slum, rich it did not matter, it was the game that brought us a commomality all across this land.

    April 18, 2012 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
  10. michael

    Outside the stadium hawkers of everthing from toys, food, pennets to ladies nylon hoseiry and as at Fenpay a hawker without a permit any other day had to pay a Mick Cop a fin on game day just forget it. Before and after a game men women went to lowest railing and talked to the playerr on a first mane basis except for kids that is, a forgotten Mr. was a worse sin in Boston than cussing at the Pope. After a game, no matter the city players walkee out into the crowded streets to go to local bars and restaunts to mix with the fans and were realy a part of the whole communitys. Most did not live in mansins and even many who owned one had an inexpensive apartment near the parks. There were more characters back then, all of them had their quirks but let a teammate get in a fight on or at a pua and a real Donny Brook would begin and we the fans loved em for it. The umps were always blind when away and sometimes at home as well but even they had some character.

    April 18, 2012 at 9:13 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Ben Bernanke

    Thanks to me, Jamie will need to keep pitching until he's 90 if he wants to have enough money to live to 70.

    April 19, 2012 at 1:00 am | Report abuse |
  12. Steve Paradiso

    In a preseason interview with Dan Patrick he was asked about the strangest encounter with a batter. He stated a few years into his career he faced someone for the first time, threw a couple of pitches, and the batter yelled to him "Hey Moyer, how about a fastball?". Moyer replied, "I just did!"

    April 19, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
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