Former Philadelphia Phillie and Souderton native Jamie Moyer has defied the odds to make the starting pitching rotation of the Colorado Rockies.
Moyer, 49, made his Major League Baseball debut almost 26 years ago, in June 1986. Already viewed as an age-defying wonder when he pitched for the Phillies, Moyer's career was widely regarded as over when he suffered an elbow injury in 2010. Moyer underwent "Tommy John" ligament-replacement surgery in November of that year. Even for players in the primes of their careers, the surgery typically entails a rehabilitation time of 12-18 months.
Moyer has never been blessed with an overpowering fastball or the physical tools that scouts conventionally look for in a pitcher. He instead has survived on an array of "junk" pitches combined with excellent control and encyclopedic research into the strengths and weaknesses of the batters he would face in his next game.
His ability to improve with age—Moyer has won 208 games since turning 33—once led baseball analyst Rob Neyer to dub Moyer "the smartest pitcher in the American League" while he was pitching for the Seattle Mariners.
When he takes the mound for Colorado next week, he will become the second-oldest player in history to start a baseball game in the major leagues. The Rockies visit Philadelphia to play the Phillies for a three-game series from June 19 to June 21.