07/14/2003 10:43 PM ET
A Moyer among boys in Chicago
Seattle pitcher, at 40, appreciates first All-Star Game
CHICAGO -- Jamie Moyer, making his first appearance at the All-Star Game at age 40, really was a
man among boys Monday.
By the Mariner lefty's side as he met with the media were his two sons, 11-year-old Dillon and
10-year-old Hutton, his traveling companions while his wife, Karen, is back in Seattle with the
couple's fifth child due within the month.
Around the rest of the room were some American League All-Stars not all that much older than the
Moyer boys, like 22-year-olds Hank Blalock and C.C. Sabathia, plus a dozen or so more players in
Moyer certainly doesn't feel out of place among them, but he knows he's among a very few
anomalies of age in baseball.
"I think it's always been a fairly younger person's game, but there have always been guys who slip
through the cracks," Moyer said. "The guys who are older have done it, they've proven it and they
still have that burning desire to play.
"I can honestly say that I have that burning desire to play, and I love the competition."
At last, that desire has met with sensational success to place Moyer at the All-Star Game for the first
Moyer is one of five Mariners in Chicago for Tuesday's Midsummer Classic, including a fellow
first-timer in reliever Shigetoshi Hasegawa, third-time honorees in Ichiro Suzuki and Bret Boone,
and Moyer's only company in the 40-and-over club in Edgar Martinez, making his seventh
While it's Moyer's first All-Star Game, it could be a last for Martinez, who before it even began
intimated this would be his final season. Martinez first played in the game in 1992, and says being
an All-Star at 40 might be even more satisfying.
"I don't feel like I'm 40 and I don't think I'm getting old," Martinez said. "But when people mention
that you're having a great year and you're 40, it kind of makes me feel that it is a good achievement
to be able to be here."
The same could be said for Moyer, but he hadn't deemed his career unsuccessful before because he
hadn't made the All-Star team until now. He considers it a "huge honor" but hadn't really looked at
it as a goal.
"I don't want to say it's something I've always worked for, because I'm not a big numbers guy and a
guy to say, 'I need to have this many strikeouts' or 'I need to have this many wins,'" Moyer said. "My
only goal is to contribute to the ballclub."
The way he does that is with finesse. He has a fastball that might be ticketed for going too slow on a
highway, but he also has a vast amount of knowledge gleaned from a career that saw more than its
share of disappointment but now is at a peak.
By John Schlegel / MLB.com
More than anything, it's that finesse -- that soft touch and pinpoint location -- that brought Moyer to
the All-Star Game.
"It's an art," Moyer said of his light touch on the mound. "That's really the only reason that I'm still
here and still have been effective. I'll never say I've mastered it, but I've been able to become more
consistent with it."
And by now, he knows how to use his softer stuff against hitters who step up hoping to unload on
the softer stuff -- but mostly end up hitting it no harder than it's pitched, often to one of the lefty's
"Everybody's got an ego," Moyer said. "Being more of a finesse type of pitcher, everybody wants to
hit the fastball, and they don't want to get beat by the fastball. ... Most guys use their fastball to set
up their offspeed stuff. I use my offspeed stuff to set up my fastball."
Using that repertoire with incredible consistency the last few years, Moyer became the oldest player
to become a first-time 20-game winner in 2001, and followed that up with a career-low 3.32 ERA in
2002. This year he's out to top it all, with a 12-5 record and 3.02 ERA at the All-Star break.
That he's doing it all at age 40 is a testament to his perseverance as much as his talent. After being
released three times, traded and generally tossed around the Majors for much of the late '80s and
early '90s, Moyer found a home in Seattle and has gotten better with age.
Now, Moyer is enjoying a few days in Chicago with his two sons. It makes him glad he stuck it out,
emerging a better pitcher and a better person for it.
"There was never a point in time when I felt quitting was the way to go," Moyer said. "There were
times that were discouraging, but I put a lot of that on myself. I wasn't successful, I wasn't consistent,
and it was up to me to find a way."
He has found a way, that's for sure. He found his way to the All-Star Game.
John Schlegel is a reporter for MLB.com.
This story was not subject to approval by Major League Baseball or its clubs.