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Jamie Moyer's stats are better than Cole Hamels this season, but he's moving to the bullpen to make room for fellow vet, Pedro Martinez.
Jamie Moyer doesn't defy Father time with brute force, as Nolan Ryan once did. Instead, the 47-year-old Philadelphia Phillies' lefty is still getting major league hitters with guile and a fastball topped by high schoolers a third his age.
Moyer, a father of seven, on Wednesday pitched eight strong innings to best the mighty Yankees. But even before that, he should already have cemented his place as the favorite player of everyone with grey around their temples, anyone who ever studied the lines on their face and wondered where the time went.
“I don’t think that I’m old. So I don’t believe it,” Moyer said after the game, when the inevitable questions from reporters 10 years his junior came. “Regardless of what people think or say I still feel like I can go out and compete, and that’s my ultimate job.”
There have been older players in the Major Leagues, but few whose best years came when their peers were retiring. That's the difference with Moyer: He won 20 games - the benchmark for pitchers - for the first time at age 38, then did it again at 40. He won just 34 games in his 20s, but has piled up 112 in his 40s. He now has 265 victories for his career, and insists he has no immediate plans to go off into the sunset. Why would he? He's still effective, and he's making $7.75 million this year.
"I don't know about other people, but I know I'm amazed at what he can do," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who played against Moyer and is actually two years younger, was equally impressed.
"It's amazing what he's done," Girardi said. "Any time a man pitches at his age, you're somewhat surprised. But if someone was going to do it, he's always had that work ethic, and that part doesn't surprise me."
Here are some other baseball players who have stuck around long after hitting the big 4-0: