Jamie Moyer has been defying the odds since 1995. Some odds, however, are longer than others.
It was that year the “spry” 32-year old lefty began a career renaissance in Boston and extended over into a fantastic period in Seattle.
As Jamie Moyer continues to plug along methodically in the Colorado Rockies rotation we realize that since that year he’s amassed a record of 209-130 with an ERA of 4.12. He’s played in one All-Star game, pitched in three postseason’s and won a World Series with the Phillies in 2008. An impressive career indeed, but lets not get caught up in the Hall of Fame talk with Jamie Moyer.
Some will see this as a slight to him. It isn’t, the fact that we are able to talk about such an incredible honor for him is an accomplishment in and of itself. 268 wins (and counting) is an unbelievable accomplishment, but outside of that nothing truly sets him apart.
I like to play a game when I come across scenarios like these regarding players and their eligibility to Cooperstown. I always think of the player and then, without research, think of the first player that comes to mind who is closest to said player. My first thought was one Charlie Hough and I am quite proud of myself because the comparisons are striking.
Hough pitched well into his 40’s (retiring at age 46) and also had a difficult start to his career; primarily because he was a “Knuckle” ball pitcher coming out of the bullpen. His career really began in his 30’s as well (34) when he got his first real crack at starting with the Texas Rangers. From 1982 until he retired in 1994 he went 163-168 with a 3.83 ERA. The record can be chalked up to playing for bad Texas teams in the 80’s and finishing with an expansion Marlins team from 1993-1994.
Here’s the interesting part about the comparison. Hough’s career numbers looked like this: 216-216, 3.75 ERA, 2,362 SO and an All-Star appearance in 1986. Moyer, by comparison, looks like this: 268-206, 4.23 ERA, 2,411 SO and an All-Star Appearance in 2003.
Baseball-Reference has Moyer slotted between Frank Viola (not in the Hall of Fame) and Hall of Famer Goose Gossage. The same website slots Charlie Hough between Hippo Vaughn (not in the Hall of Fame) and Hall of Famer Rube Marquard. Interesting dynamic, eh?
Again, this isn’t a slight to anything Jamie Moyer has accomplished. His numbers just don’t stack up in comparison to others who are going to the Hall of Fame or are already in. He’s essentially become pitching’s equivalent to Dale Murphy. I’m a Braves fan and a big admirer of Dale Murphy, but his numbers after 1987 took a dip that hurt his overall case. Moyer’s from the beginning hinder his case.
So the next time you think of Jamie Moyer as a Hall of Famer, ask yourself one question: Would I vote for Charlie Hough?