Sports

Rockies Pitcher Jamie Moyer Not Letting Age Deter Him

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Jamie Moyer
Jamie Moyer has played for eight different teams: the Cubs, the Rangers, the Cardinals, the Tigers, the Orioles, the Mariners, the Phillies (as seen here), and now the Rockies. Image: UCinternational

Major League Baseball (MLB) begins on April 4*.

Until then, the baseball players are in spring training to fine-tune their skills.

The teams, fans and players are hoping to have a great year—and none more so than 49-year-old pitching hopeful, Jamie Moyer.

If Moyer wins a game this season, he’ll be the oldest pitcher in MLB history to win a regular season game according to the Elias Sports Bureau, an organization that keeps track of baseball statistics.

Most major league baseball players are in their 20s or 30s, with most players quitting the game in their mid-thirties.

Last year, Moyer didn’t even play in the big leagues. He was out with an arm injury that required surgery. Many people thought that injury was going to end his career, but Moyer didn’t believe that.

No matter how bad things got, Moyer persisted, believing he could do it. He didn’t want to end his career on an injury.

He did a lot of “rehab” work on his arm, and in the off-season he signed a minor-league contract with the Colorado Rockies baseball team. Rehab is short for “rehabilitation” which in this case means special exercises to strengthen Moyer’s arm.

So how old is Moyer in terms of a baseball career? Well, consider this: the Rockies played their first game in 1993. At that time, Moyer had already pitched in 141 games—totalling 700 innings of baseball.

In the history of the Rockies baseball team, just six pitchers have ever reached the 700-inning mark.

Here’s another way of looking at Moyer’s age. When Moyer pitched his first major league game in June 1986, more than a third of the players on the Colorado Rockies’ 40-man line-up hadn’t even been born yet.

Moyer has been surprisingly good during spring training, despite a minor leg injury, and the fact that he hadn’t pitched in the MLB since 2010 when he played for the Philadelphia Phillies.

In spite of his age, Moyer stands a good chance of getting the last spot in the Rockies’ pitching rotation. To do it, he’ll have to beat out several other pitchers who are much younger than he is. Fortunately for Moyer, age isn’t everything.

*The MLB season begins April 4 in North America (in Miami, Fla.). The official kick-off to the 2012 MLB season occurred in Tokyo, Japan, on March 28 and 29 (Oakland vs. Seattle).

CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS
By Jonathan Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
Some people would say that Jamie Moyer is being persistent and dedicated about his goal. Then again, others could argue that he’s just simply being stubborn. What do you think? Why?

Reading Prompt: Extending Understanding
Despite the great challenge, Jamie Moyer is trying to do something that no one else has ever achieved, win a game in MLB at the age of 49. Does Jamie Moyer remind you of someone you know, someone you’ve read about, or even a fictional character? If so, who and why?

Primary
Extend understanding of texts by connecting the ideas in them to their own knowledge and experience, to other familiar texts, and to the world around them (OME, Reading: 1.6).

Junior
Extend understanding of texts by connecting the ideas in them to their own knowledge, experience, and insights, to other familiar texts, and to the world around them (OME, Reading: 1.6).

Intermediate
Extend understanding of texts, including increasingly complex or difficult texts, by connecting the ideas in them to their own knowledge, experience, and insights, to other familiar texts, and to the world around them (OME, Reading: 1.6).

Grammar Feature: Short Forms
Short forms are used often when people speak. However, in written language, they appear less often. When people use short forms in their writing, they often put quotation marks around the word, to show that it is being shortened on purpose. For example, in today’s article the word “rehabilitation” is shortened to “rehab.”

How many short forms of words can you think of?