On June 16, 1986, the Cubs were facing the Phillies at Wrigley Field. Both teams were hopelessly behind the Mets. The Phillies started Steve Carlton that day, whose brilliant Hall of Fame career was winding down. Future Hall of Famers Mike Schmidt and Ryne Sandberg also played in that game. So did some big names from the 1970s like Davey Lopes and Kent Tekulve.
And pitching for the Cubs that day was a rookie making his big league debut. He won the game, beating Carlton, letting up 4 runs in 6 1/3 innings.
That pitcher is now in Philadelphia and still pitching… in fact Jamie Moyer won the 5th starter’s job for the Phillies going into the 2010 season… and guess what? When all is said and done, HE could be a Hall of Famer!
He will be pitching in his 4th decade (yes, I am counting this as a new decade.) In his first six seasons in the bigs, he played for three different teams, went 34-54 with an ERA in the high 4’s. He spent all of 1992 in the minor leagues. I bet if you told him then that he would still be pitching in the bigs in 2010… well he probably would have thought you were either crazy or wondered how you bent the rules of time and space.
But here he is… all of these years later… still pitching. Thanks to a truly rotten trade by the Red Sox, Moyer settled into a groove in Seattle and pitched for 10 1/2 seasons. And now has spent the past 3 1/2 seasons in Philly.
He has a World Series ring with the 2008 Phillies, a pair of top 5 Cy Young finishes and one more top 10 finish, pitched in the 2003 All Star Game and along the way earned 10s of millions of dollars.
You’d think that would be enough. But folks… he’s pitching on arguably the best team in the National League. In two of the last three years his ERA has soared to nearly 5 but his win totals remained in double digits.
He is currently sitting on 258 wins.
Imagine if he wins 12 this year, which isn’t out of the question.
And then he wins 11 the year afterwards.
Are you seeing where I am taking this?
Let’s say he has 4 mediocre seasons with high win totals. If over the next 4 seasons, get wins 10 or 11 each year…
He’d get 300 wins, and we’re talking first ballot Hall of Famer.
Does he have it in him? He’ll be 47 this season, so I am talking about pitching into his 50s.
But can he do it? He’s not a power pitcher. In his prime, his pitches couldn’t destroy a spider web.
He has the NL’s best lineup hitting behind him and he’ll be starting every fifth day.
Basically Jamie Moyer is to pitching what Harold Baines was to batting.
Harold had a nice but hardly eye popping career. But as I wrote before, if he got 7 more hits a year, he would have cleared 3,000 and been Hall of Fame bound.
Moyer doesn’t have a shot without 300. But NOT reaching 300 is the only thing keeping Bert Blyleven out.
And the idea of Jamie Moyer being a Hall of Famer while an ace and a post season stud like Jack Morris is kept out is mildly insane.
But I like insanity. So count me in to wanting to see Jamie Moyer get 42 more wins in his career.
How can you not root for a man who career stretches from playing Ron Cey to playing with Cole Hamels?