Jamie Moyer pitched for the Baltimore Orioles from 1993 to 1995. For much of that time, ESPN’s Buster Olney was the Orioles’ beat writer and I was a columnist for The (Baltimore) Sun.
“Write about Moyer,” Buster would tell me.
“Nah,” I would reply. “Nothing to the guy.”
Buster and I must have had an exchange along those lines a half-dozen times, almost to the point where it was a running gag between us.
Back then, Moyer was practically the definition of nondescript, a left-handed swingman who both started and relieved. The Orioles were his fourth team; he had been by released three others. At the end of the ’95 season, his 10th in the majors, he would be 59-76 with a 4.51 ERA — and about to turn 33.
Well, I should have listened to Buster.
Moyer was just getting started.
He signed with the Boston Red Sox when the Orioles allowed him to become a free agent after the ’95 season. Since then? He is an astonishing 208-128 with a 4.13 ERA.
And on Friday, at age 49 and coming off Tommy John surgery, Moyer learned that he had made the Colorado Rockies’ rotation, capping one of the best stories of the spring.
I finally wrote about Moyer for The Sun after he left Baltimore and enjoyed success, noting that most fans and reporters barely even noticed when he left the Orioles. And of course, I’ve written about him many times since.
Outside of baseball, Moyer and his wife, Karen, not only are the parents of eight children, but also run a foundation dedicated to helping children in distress. Their efforts include Camp Erin, a network of free bereavement camps in more than 40 cities for children and teens ages 6-17.
To think, I once dismissed Moyer as inconsequential.
Every so often, I cringe at the memory — but smile thinking about all that Moyer has accomplished.
I’m happy to say I could not have been more wrong.
— Ken Rosenthal