SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — With grey hair flopping underneath a straight-brimmed hat, Jamie Moyer bends down to pull his old-school stirrup socks over the top of his White Tube Socks. The 49-year-old then reaches into his locker to grab his number 50 uniform.
“He’s been in the league almost longer than I’ve been alive,” laughs Rockies outfielder Dexter Fowler.
“He was in the league before I was even a thought,” adds pitcher, Drew Pomeranz.
Laugh all they want, but there is serious upside to having that kind of experience around.
“I just try to soak up as much as I can from a guy like that,” exclaims Moyer’s long-toss partner, Pomeranz. “It’s good to pick his brain, about baseball or life or anything,” says the 25 year-old Fowler.
As he enters his 22nd Spring Training, Moyer is a mentor on this team, and fully embraces that role. But he wants to make it clear, he’s also still a very capable pitcher and one that expects to break camp on the big-league roster.
“I try not to give myself a pat on the back (in regards to his long career), I’ve never done that, I just try to achieve the next goal in front of me.” Moyer says in a serious tone, “Right now that goal for me is to have a great spring and make the decision as difficult as possible on them (The Rockies) to keep me around.”
So far, so good. The crafty left-hander has already thrown a live bullpen session and said he woke up the next day pain-free.
“I probably could have thrown 30 or 40 more pitches at least.”
Moyer says he continues to do what he does, because he loves the institution of baseball and loves coming to work everyday. Now in his older years, he also doesn’t deny the pleasure he takes in proving the naysayers wrong. “I like to use it as fuel. When every anyone says I can’t, I love to go do.”
If Moyer does pitch for the Rockies this season, he would be the oldest pitcher in the majors in nearly four decades; Hall of Famer Hoyt Wilhelm was 49 when appeared in 16 games for the Dodgers in 1972.