The list of phenomenal pitchers that have had their careers shortened or derailed by injury is too long to count. Kerry Wood, who recorded 20 strikeouts in a single game in 1998 and then had his promising career threatened by Tommy John surgery in 1999 is a recent example. Locally, the Washington Nationals are praying their young star, Steven Strasburg, will be up to par after suffering an injury in his rookie season.

It’s almost accepted in baseball that pitchers will get hurt, and it’s the lucky ones, not the normal ones, who are able to defy this rule and sustain a long career. And with this in mind, Jamie Moyer has slowly become the most interesting man in baseball.

At 49 years old, Moyer is attempting to pitch his way to his 25th Major League season at the Rockies Spring Training Camp in Scottsdale, Ariz. If he can make the big league rotation, which is expected, Moyer can become the oldest player in the history of Major League Baseball to pick up a win as a pitcher. In a sport with such an illustrious history, records like this seem impossible to break. But Moyer seems poised to break a record that has stood since the 1930s.

It makes little sense that Moyer, who states he feels no worse than he did at 35, isn’t receiving a media storm for his attempt at the record. Moyer is currently chasing the mark of a man who, in 1920, was granted special permission to throw a spitball by Major League Baseball. In any other situation, the pursuit of an 80-year-old record would garner unprecedented media attention.

Admittedly, this record is not quite as monumental as, say, breaking Cy Young’s record for all-time wins, but a degree of magnitude remains.

The general population knows little about Jamie Moyer. They’re unaware that he’s now pitching in his fourth decade and that his career has stopped in more places than anyone can imagine. In 1992, a full six years after his major league debut, he spent the entire season in the minor leagues, hardly a starting spot of a career that would continue for another 20 years.

Despite the weak start, his accolades are numerous. Moyer won 21 games for the Mariners in 2003, he was the 25th left-handed pitcher to win 200 games and he was part of the Philadelphia Phillies championship team in 2008. While achieving all of this, Moyer has run his own charity and raised eight children.

So how does he do it? I struggle getting out of bed for my 8 a.m. class twice a week, and Jamie Moyer is trying to pitch in the Majors at 49. Aside from being in amazing shape — and probably cashing in on incredible karma thanks to his philanthropy — the man who looks more like a grandfather than a Major Leaguer simply knows what works. Moyer throws slowly, but he throws accurately.

Long before “Moneyball”, Moyer figured out that keeping unnecessary runners off the bases was the key to winning. As a result, he’s pitched with amazing accuracy and has a lifetime average of 2.5 walks per nine innings. By throwing accurately and intelligently, Moyer hasn’t posted a losing record since 2006.

Moyer didn’t always pitch this way, and accordingly, nobody predicted his unprecedented career. In 1991, the season before Moyer spent a year in the minors, he allowed an average of 4.6 walks per nine innings and seemed to be headed out of baseball. At some point during his year in the minors, Moyer realized he could be successful if he could just learn to slow down and throw accurately.

That realization was made somewhere in the Detroit Tigers’ farm system and it ended up being the secret to Moyer’s lengthy career.

In 1993, Moyer lowered his walks per nine innings to 2.3. From that moment on, he became a staple in the Majors. His career may not be recognized as much as it deserves to be, but the results are undeniable. The same guy who threw the slowest fastball in the National League in 2007 is about to break a record that’s stood since the 1930s, and that should be celebrated.

Corey Blaine is a junior in the McDonough School of Business. THE BLEACHER SEATS appears every Friday.

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