Thursday, June 17, 2010

Old men and baseball

It might not seem like a big deal, but it kinda is. The Twins, in the 22nd round, drafted a high school shortstop named Dillon Moyer. The kid has some good stock, because just a month ago, Dillon's father, Jamie, pitched a no-hitter.

Jamie Moyer debuted in the majors before my sister's first birthday; he was drafted a year before she was born. My sister is now married. My grandfather could've read about him in the newspaper (there was no internet back then, kids). Grandpa died almost twenty years ago. (How's this for trivia: Grandpa saw Satchel Paige pitch in North Dakota in the 1930s. Satchel Paige was the oldest rookie to play in the major leagues (age: 42).)

There's something about a player like this that fascinates me. He's not a hard-throwing starting pitcher, although I'd imagine to pitch into your late 40's, you need to be more than a hard-thrower (err, based on Mariano Rivera, maybe not...but he's a relief pitcher, not a starter). He's what's known as a finesse pitcher--his fastball tops out in the low 80s. That's not very fast. It's a reminder that you don't have to blow it by 'em to get outs. You just have to be smarter than the other person. A proper mixing of pitches can keep hitters enough off-balance to get the outs. Many pitchers can get by with this for short periods, but it takes some talent to sustain this for decades--as Moyer has done. In fact, Moyer is the only pitcher to throw a shut-out in four different decades.

Will Moyer ever face his son? That would require him to pitch for at least a couple more years. There's also no saying Dillon will sign with the the Twins (he has signed a commitment to play at Cal-Irvine). But best-case scenario is probably that he signs with the Twins, comes up as a rookie in four years (age 22), Moyer would have to pitch until he's 51. Normally, I'd say that's not going to happen, but I also wouldn't think a guy would throw a no-hitter at age 47. So, anything can happen. And I'd like to see it.

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1 Comments:

Blogger Ryan said...

Jamie Moyer? No hitter? Shwa?

5:51 PM  

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