Peter played in the Twins organization for three years: 1995–1997. After that, he returned to Australia and became a pharmaceutical vials and drug packaging salesman. He made good money and had a company car and expense account. He was an employee at Pearce Pharmaceuticals, which just happened to be owned by Australian Baseball Association President Jeff Pearce.
And Moylan played first base once or twice a week for a team in his Australian hometown, at a level roughly equivalent to an American recreation league.
It wasn't until 2006 when Moylan displayed his new fastball in the Claxton Shield (an Australian club state tournament held in January) that the Australians even thought about placing him on the national team.
Peter says his father is probably the one who got him interested in baseball. (Now, his dad watches all his son's games on MLB.com, from his home in Western Australia.)
"My Dad came to the U.S. for work, watched the Astros at the Astrodome, and fell in love with the game. When he returned (to Australia), he joined a league and played and got me into t-ball. I loved it," Moylan said.
"We'd get the World Series (on TV) each year, and even as a young guy, I loved watching it. I didn't have a favorite team, but I liked watching Mark McGwire with the A's and Greg Maddux. I had a Frank Thomas Reebok poster and a Ken Griffey Jr. poster."
When Peter was a youngster, he was rather mischievous. "I was a difficult child," said Peter. "I was hyperactive, always into something, all the time. My school report card said, 'Wants to be the class clown; has the potential to do fantastic things but continues to disrupt the class and make jokes."
On March 11, 2006, Moylan signed with the Braves, two days after making quite an impression with Team Australia in the World Baseball Classic. He received a bonus of $30,000.
The pitching coach for Team Australia was Phil Dale, a longtime scout for the Braves. He was very instrumental in signing Peter for Atlanta. With the manager for the team being Jon Deeble, a scout for the Red Sox, that organization also had a shot at Moylan.
"[The Braves] promote from within, whereas the Red Sox don't," said Moylan, who says he reads MLB.com regularly and was quite aware of the fact that the Braves used 18 different rookies on the way to a record 14th consecutive division title in 2005.
Peter enjoys his family (his daughters, Montana and Matisse) and music when he is not playing baseball.
How did he meet Tracey, his first wife?
"My mum was coaching her softball team in Sydney, and I went down there to watch. I saw her and thought, 'Wow.' We hit it off and got married."
But Peter and Tracey were divorced a few years ago.
In 2009, Moylan's girlfriend, Mandy Coupel performed the National Anthem before the Braves/Yankees game on June 25. Mandy has sung professionally, and has also performed the anthem at minor league baseball games for the New Orleans Zephyrs.
Moylan has quite a few tattoos over his arms. His left arm is a full tattoo sleeve, and his right arm isn't far behind. His daughters names—Montana and Matisse—are tattooed on his inner forearms. After he played in Taiwan, he got a tattoo inside his right bicep that says, in Mandarin Chinese: "Accomplish all without fear."
Then there is the Tasmanian Devil on his calf that he got when he was younger. The tattoos are covered when he pitches in a tight blue undershirt.
His favorite baseball player is Nolan Ryan.
- Before 2008 spring training, in his native Australia, Peter trimmed down by biking about five miles to the ocean and then rested just briefly before entering the water and swimming as far as he possibly could.
"I can swim, but I don't have the endurance to swim out to the boats or anything," Moylan said.
In the offseason, he and Mandy go to Melbourne, Australia for three months, spending as much time as possible with his daughters, who live there with their mother. During the season, Peter has weekly web cam visits with them.
During his time with the Braves, Peter and Mandy shared a Buckhead apartment (the really nice section of Atlanta).
He is hooked on TV shows like "Family Guy" and "Entourage."
Moylan eats Vegemite on toast every morning. The chocolate-colored Australian paste is made from yeast extract, and has been known to fool samplers with its salty, bitter and unsavory flavor (in some folks' opinion). But for this Aussie relief pitcher, there is nothing like a little taste of home imported to the States and enjoyed to his delight.
No one was happier than right-hander Kris Medlen when the Royals signed right-hander Peter Moylan to a Minor League deal.
"I got invited to big league camp in 2009 with the Braves and we gravitated pretty quickly to each other," Medlen said. "We have been very close ever since. I was in his wedding. My wife and I didn't have bridesmaids or groomsmen, otherwise he would've been in mine, too. It's just a close friendship."
That bond intensified in 2013 when they both blew out their elbows -- the second time for each -- within a week of each other. They had their surgeries two weeks apart and rehabbed together, supporting each other when needed.
"We held each other accountable," Medlen said. "We wouldn't have made it out as strong as we did after that second [surgery] without each other."
And both made it back to the big leagues last season, Medlen on July 20 with the Royals and Moylan on Aug. 16 with the Braves.
"[Medlen] called me when he heard that I got called up," Moylan told MLB.com last August. "When he first got called up and then I got called up, we got a little choked up. All of our text messages said something like, 'I couldn't have done this without you.'"
Medlen, who finished with a 6-2 record and a 4.01 ERA, will be competing for a job in the Royals' rotation. Moylan, who had a 3.48 ERA in 22 relief outings, will be vying for a spot in the Royals' vaunted bullpen.
Medlen is anxious to be teammates again.
"I'm going to be pumped to have him around because he symbolizes so much to me because of his career path and what he's been through on and off the field," Medlen said. (Jeffrey Flanagan - MLB.com - Jan. 27, 2016)
2016: Moylan, at age 37, was back in the World Baseball Classic pitching for Australia.
"Which story do you want to hear first? Do you want to hear the one about the Australian baseball pitcher, toiling away as a pool plumber and concrete layer when his career crumbled? How about the same guy, talking his way through an interview at a Japanese security company? Or how about the time he found a gig selling commercial pest control? That was kind of weird," he says.
And then, of course, there was the time Peter Moylan found steady work at an Australian glass company, installing these splash-back walls in home kitchens. The glass story is a fun one.
Moylan had a good friend who started the company. This was the early 2000s, and those splash-back walls were becoming quite trendy in Australian homes. And Moylan? Well, he had to do something. He was in his early 20s then, searching for a source of income after his baseball career washed out, a gregarious 6-foot-2, 225-pound Aussie who needed some cash so he could enjoy the finer parts of life. You remember your early 20s, right?
"I was basically a laborer that would do anything," Moylan says. "I was showing up at 7 in the morning, getting in the truck, installing all day long. I would come back from installing, I would have something to eat, cut the glass and then after that, we'd paint."
The next day, he would do it again, working from 7 a.m. until 11 at night. Some days, as the jobs piled up, he would think about the baseball career that didn't pan out, the two seasons he was in Rookie ball with the Minnesota Twins in 1996 and 1997. All these years later, Moylan says the tale sounds like a movie, like "The Rookie" meets "Crocodile Dundee." Maybe some day, when this is all over, he'll write a book. But for now, he still has other priorities.
Inside the clubhouse, Peter is the personification of resiliency, a veteran who has overcome two Tommy John surgeries and a litany of back problems. On some days, his Australian accent fills the room, offering a chorus of self-deprecating jokes and funny stories. On others, he serves as mentor to the club's young pitchers. Long ago, Moylan realized he'd earned a reputation as a "good clubhouse guy," a man who could lighten the mood and contribute to the culture of an organization. Maybe it's part of the reason he's still here, he says, still flinging side-arm sliders at the age of 37.
"He's just a great guy," says Royals pitcher Kris Medlen, who developed a kinship with Moylan while both pitchers were with the Atlanta Braves. "He's the kind of guy you want to sit at the bar with and just talk for hours."
It was in those conversations that Medlen first started to learn Moylan's story, piece by piece, one amazing anecdote after another. Pieces like this:
One year before Moylan made his major-league debut for the Braves in 2006, he was working as a pharmaceutical sales rep in Melbourne, Australia, and serving as a player/manager for a local club baseball team on the side. Four years before that, he was pouring concrete and cutting glass and, every so often, still thinking about baseball.
"Had I not (messed) it all up," Moylan remembers thinking, "this could have been my career."
Growing up in Perth, Australia, Moylan had started playing T-ball during his first years of grammar school. His introduction to the sport was a simple one. His father had traveled to the United States on business and attended a couple of Astros games at the Astrodome in Houston. Tom Moylan was instantly hooked.
"He thought I would love the game," Moylan says.
Baseball is still something of a niche sport in Australia. Rugby and Aussie rules football, among others, remain more popular. But Moylan grew into one of the country's top young baseball talents. In those days, he was still a traditional pitcher with an over-the-top release. He was 17 with a solid fastball and some athleticism. He signed with the Minnesota Twins in 1996.
In the weeks after signing, Moylan headed for the Twins" facility in Fort Myers, Fla. But his first foray into baseball didn't quite take. Maybe it was homesickness, he says. Maybe he wasn't ready for it. Maybe he was just too immature, too young, liked having too much fun.
"I had never had that kind of freedom before," Moylan says. "And I kind of took advantage of it a little bit too much and wasn't fully committed to showing up to the field every day. I thought, right then, having to go to the field at 8 in the morning sucks, because all I'd known is school. I'd come straight out of high school. I didn't know what it was like to work a regular job. I didn't know that showing up to a field at 8 a.m. in the morning and being there until 3 in the afternoon was 50 times better than showing up to an office at 7 in the morning and then actually have to hit targets and budgets. So at the time, I thought it was the worst thing in the world."
By his second year with the Twins, Moylan began to settle in. He started eating better, he says. He started taking baseball more seriously. He started having some success on the mound. But one day, toward the end of the season, he suffered a fluke injury, tearing some ligaments in his ankle while stepping on a piece of equipment during batting practice. His season was done. He was released the next spring. He headed back to Australia, not sure of what to do next.
The odd jobs came next, a few years of drifting about and piecing together a decent wage. But by his mid 20s, Moylan had carved out a nice career as a pharmaceutical rep, a job that left plenty of time for club baseball. Sometimes he would play first base. Other times it was third or shortstop or outfield. After battling back problems for years, he had developed a swing path that allowed him to hit pain free. But he had essentially quit pitching. Too much pain.
One day, Moylan says, he started playing around with throwing submarine style, taking the same approach to pitching that he had with his swing. The motion felt comfortable immediately, like he had been doing it for years. His velocity sat somewhere in the low 90s. His command was there. After a while, he added a side-arm slider to the arsenal.
"Guys would take six swings and not even come close," Moylan says. "I'd think, 'OK, this is pretty good for this level. We might win.'" Never in my wildest dreams did I think that what I was doing was ever going to translate to what I'm doing now. I thought, long before that, that I'd squandered any opportunity that I was going to have in America."
In 2006, his big break came in the run-up to the inaugural World Baseball Classic. Moylan earned a spot on the Australian team and caught the eye of Major League scouts in the process. A few days after the Aussies were eliminated, the Braves invited him to their facility in Orlando for a possible tryout. When Moylan arrived, a young Atlanta executive named Dayton Moore was there to meet him. The Braves would end up offering a contract. Moylan called his boss at the pharmaceutical company, who doubled as an official in the Australian baseball federation.
"Listen buddy, you're going to have to find another sales rep," Moylan told him. "Because I'm not coming back."
By the opening weeks of the 2006 season, Moylan was making his big-league debut. It was, and remains, one wild progression. One year later, he posted a 1.80 ERA in 90 innings, establishing himself as a presence in the Braves bullpen.
"It's a different look," Eiland says. "There's not a whole lot of guys like that around. He's got late sink to his fastball. He'll also throw it up in the zone. And that slider is very deceptive."
The rest of his career has not been perfect, of course. After solid seasons in 2009 and 2010, injuries began to ravage his career. Back problems. Elbow issues. His body began to break.
"Getting called up (in Aug. 2016) felt better than the original one, if you can believe that," Moylan says. "I had five years of Major League service time at the end of 2011. It has taken me until 2016 to get six."
In the offseason, Moylan signed a minor-league deal with the Royals, reuniting with Moore. When he was called up from Class AAA Omaha in May, 2016 he walked inside a clubhouse at Yankee Stadium and announced his presence.
"They call me the old man," he said, stuffing some equipment into his locker.
His arms covered in tattoos, his trademark glasses on his face, Moylan is still the pitcher who poured concrete and cut glass and sold pharmaceuticals. But for now, he says, the book and movie can wait. (Rustin Dodd - Aug. 29, 2016 - goerie.com)
The origin of Peter's chosen nickname for Players Weekend (Aug. 25-27, 2017) comes from an unlikely source: Australian cricket. On Players Weekend, all players will wear colorful, non-traditional uniforms featuring alternate designs. And they will be allowed to use nicknames in place of their surnames on jerseys.
Moylan, an Australia native, chose "Sledge," an Australian slang term for trash-talking in cricket.
"I grew up watching Aussie cricket teams that prided themselves on the ability to sledge," Moylan said. "Guys like Ian Healy and Adam Gilchrist -- they were legends at sledging. It was just part of cricket and part of growing up. It's also part of what keeps me grounded. All my friends back home, they say, 'Ooh, you're in the big leagues.' But then they sledge me and keep it real. It's just how we grew up. You don't let someone get too full of themselves."
And yes, Moylan does some sledging with his Royals teammates. "I don't do it on the field, more in the clubhouse," Moylan said.
Moylan also points out that sledging, while related to American sports trash-talking, is not nearly as mean-spirited.
"In Australia, it's not personal," Moylan said. "It's more personal here. It's more funny in Australia."
Moylan even named his famous espresso concoction that he serves to teammates daily the "Sledge-iatto." (Flanagan - mlb.com - 8/16/17)
"I kind of pinch myself. I told my wife the other day, 'Any kind of inning I have or any pitch I've been able to throw since 2014 -- when I blew [my elbow] out the second time -- has been an absolute godsend," Moylan said. "I take every day for what it's worth and I don't try to plan too far ahead because you never know what's going to happen. I'm just pumped I'm still able to play the game I love for the team that I love."
Moylan stands as one of the funnier players to inhabit the Braves' clubhouse over the past two decades and his humorous social media exchanges have further endeared him to Atlanta fans.
"Speaking to people who know him, he's loved in this organization from top to bottom," Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos said. "Anyone he has been around feels so strongly about him, what he brings to the club, what he means as a human being and what he is as a competitor." (Bowman - mlb.com - 2/20/18)
January 28, 1996: He signed by the Twins as a free agent.
April 1, 1998: Moylan was released by the Twins.
March 11, 2006: He was signed as a free agent by the Braves.
January 18, 2011: Moylan and the Braves avoided salary arbitration, agreeing to a $2 million contract.
December 12, 2011: The Braves did not offer Peter a contract for 2012, making him a free agent.
November 30, 2012: Once again, Atlanta non-tendered Moylan a contract, allowing him to become a free agent.
January 15, 2013: Peter signed with the Dodgers' organization.
October 29, 2013: Moylan elected free agency.
December 4, 2013: Peter signed with the Astros' organization.
March 11, 2015: Moylan signed with the Braves organization.
January 23, 2016: The Royals signed free agent Moylan to a one-year contract.
March 28, 2016: The Royals released Peter.
March 30, 2016: The Royals signed Moylan as a free agent.
February 17, 2017: Moylan signed as a free agent with the Royals.
Nov 2, 2017: Moylan chose free agency.
- Feb. 19, 2018: The Braves signed Moylan.