- Jamie's hero as a child was the Phillies' Larry Bowa. And the young Moyer was also a Steve Carlton fan. Jamie grew up in Sellersville, Pa., not far from Philadelphia. He starred at Souderton Area High School and then at St. Joseph's.
- Once he enrolled at St. Joseph's University, Moyer had to get his grades up so he could try out for the baseball team, which was coached by a high school science teacher. By day Moyer worked for the borough of Souderton, painting crosswalks, collecting leaves, mowing bumpy municipal ball fields. He'd pack a sandwich at breakfast and eat it while making the hour-long drive to school in his parents' baby-blue Pinto.
"Bologna on white, mustard between the meat," Moyer recalled cheerfully during an all-day interview just before the start of the 2009 season. (The man's a Hall of Fame talker.) "If you put the mustard right on the bread, the sandwich gets all mushy." (Michael Bamberger-Sports Illustrated-4/13/09)
A pivotal moment in Moyer's baseball development happened during fall practice, when he met former Hawks pitcher Kevin Quirk, who had signed with the Yankees the previous spring. Quirk had learned to throw a change-up that summer, and upon returning to Hawk Hill for a visit, taught it to Moyer. Without that pitch, there wouldn't be one major-league win, never mind 216.
"It was a great opportunity for me," Moyer said of his time at St. Joe's. "They weren't a perennial power, but it was an opportunity to be seen and continue playing. At 18 years old, I just wanted to play."
During his three seasons at St. Joe's, Moyer caught the eye of scouts, particularly Billy Blitzer of the Chicago Cubs. In June 1984, they drafted him in the sixth round. Two years later, he was in Wrigley Field, beating his boyhood idol, Steve Carlton, in his first big-league start. (Jim Salisbury-Philadelphia Inquirer-1/21/07)
- Jamie married Karen Phelps, daughter of Notre Dame basketball coach Digger Phelps in November 1988. They met in Chicago in 1986 when he pitched for the Cubs and she was an intern at WGN-TV, fetching stats and coffee for broadcasters Harry Caray and Steve Stone.
Their first son is named Dillon (7-18-91). Their second child, son, Hutton, was born on April 30, 1993. Their 3rd child--and first daughter, Timoney Jennifer--was born July 3, 1995. And their second daughter, Duffy, was born in 1997. Their fifth child, McCabe, was born July 28, 2003. And their sixth child was born July 16, 2004. (All of those kids have given names that are surnames on the Phelps side of the family.)
But they needed one more child, a 7th, so that they had nine Moyers, enough for a baseball team. They adopted Yenifer as an infant from a Guatemalan orphanage.
- In 2008, the Moyers moved to Bradenton, Florida, mostly for sons Dillon and Hutton, who enrolled in the baseball program at IMG Academy. They became full-time students and full-time ballplayers.
"I grew up blue-collar, my kids are growing up in a major league environment," he says. "As baseball players I want Dillon and Hutton to have the best possible coaching. Access to experts in nutrition. Weight training. Good competition. Exposure. They've said they want to see how far they can get in baseball. I'm fortunate to have the means to help them."
- Moyer says of his father-in-law, "Digger is a pretty big baseball fan. He travels around the country a lot, playing in charity golf tournaments. He sees me pitch when he can fit it into his schedule."
- In a profession of men who still often act like boys, where locker-room machismo and swagger are almost prerequisites to putting on a Major League uniform, Moyer is an anomaly. He is almost gentle toward others.
He is small, weighing only 170 pounds. And he isn't hesitant to admit that he assists his wife with housework. "I try to help out as much as I can at home," Jamie said. And when his baseball days end, he may become something of a Mr. Mom so his wife can return to her career in television production. "She's put her career on hold for my career and the children," Jamie explained. "And she'd like to get back into TV."
- Jamie took two correspondance courses during and after the 1993 season. One was in communications and the other in the field of writing, including poetry. He is 18 credits from earning a degree in general studies from Indiana University at South Bend. "If you have a direction you want to go in, they make you take a lot of courses to broaden your horizons."
In December, 1994, Jamie was at a charity golf tournament in St. Croix with his family. While on a snorkeling outing, the mast of the boat fell on Moyer and his young son. "The mast of the boat pulled out of the base of the boat and fell on he and I and fractured his skull. He's doing fine now. At that time, he was a year and a half old. It was a scary couple of days," Jamie said.
- The off-season before the 1995 campaign continued to be bad for the Moyers. Two of Jamie's grandparents died during that time and his wife had a bout with food poisoning.
- Jamie's 8.1 percent body fat was the lowest on the Mariners at 1999 spring training.
Moyer and his wife run the Moyer Foundation, which benefits children's charities and is an active supporter of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Life Center Northwest and Refuse to Abuse, among other organizations in the Seattle area.
Moyer's service to his fellow man started when he struggled to stay in the majors with Baltimore in 1993. He visited a two-year-old leukemia patient named Gregory Chaya at Johns Hopkins. The little boy's prognosis was not good and Moyer knew it. Still, the pitcher was completely taken by the little boy's spirit.
"I thought to myself, 'How selfish am I worrying about keeping my job when he's fighting to live?' " Moyer said. "It put my career in perspective. I was supposed to be there trying to lift that little boy's spirit and he lifted mine. He pushed me without saying anything."
Chaya turned 17 in 2007, and lives in Blakeslee, Pa. Moyer still speaks with the friend he calls "a miracle" and the miracle roots for the Phillies. (Jim Salisbury-Philadelphia Inquirer-1/17/07)
Before every start, Moyer hones his eyes and concentration by studying a laminated card with a grid of 100 numbers placed in random order. He has another set of cards with "three steps to problem solving."
Jamie stays fit on a stair climber and a stationary bike.
He detests the travel that is a part of professional baseball, but copes with it.
Moyer's career took off when he was 29 years old. He had almost five years in the majors at the time, but it looked like his time in the Show was in the past. He had spent the bulk of the 1991 season at Triple-A Louisville without even consideration of a September callup from the Cardinals. Moyer had a family and a feeling that he would be better served finishing up his college degree and moving on. His father-in-law knew better.
When Digger Phelps was at New Jersey’s Rider College in the early 1960s, first as a basketball player and then a graduate assistant with the basketball team, he became friends with then-Rider baseball coach Tom Petroff, who migrated to Colorado in the 1970s and often regaled Phelps with tales about Bus Campbell and his magical touch with pitchers.
At Phelps’ urging, Moyer decided to make one last grasp as extending his baseball career. He came to Colorado in December 1991 to work with Campbell for a week.
“I was scuffling at the time,” Moyer said. “I was looking for direction. I’d never heard of Bus, but my father-in-law was convinced Bus was the guy who could turn my career around.” Bus was. “I remember first meeting Bus. He was unassuming. He wasn’t brash at all. He starts talking mechanics and it all sounds so simple. I’m in limbo, and he starts taking about how to take the ball out of the glove. We go through all the different parts of the delivery, and refine it down to the fact that what it all starts with how you take the ball out of your glove.”
Good thing Moyer hung in there.
In 2001, at age 37, he won 20 games for the first time. In 2002, at age 39, he signed a three-year, $15 million contract. And in 2003, still 39, he won 20 games again!
Moyer was recipient of the 2003 Roberto Clemente Award, which he received before Game 3 of the World Series (between the Yankees and Marlins). The award is given for excellence on the field and in the community.
Jamie also was presented with the Hutch Award, presented annually since 1965 to the big leaguer displaying "honor, courage and dedication to baseball while overcoming adversity to one's personal or professional life."
One indication of Moyer's longevity: As of the middle of the 2006 season, Jamie had pitched to six father-son combinations: Buddy and David Bell; Bob, Bret and Aaron Boone; Jose and Jose (Jr.) Cruz; Ken and Ken (Jr.) Griffey; Tony and Eduardo Perez; and Gary and Daryle Ward.
On May 25, 2007, Jamie set a Major League record with his win over the Atlanta Braves. His previous victory against them had come on May 23, 1987.
According to Elias, the 20 years and two days between wins against an organization betters the previous record held by Mike Morgan, who beat the Mariners on Aug. 4, 1979, and then not again until April 13, 1999.
When the 44-year-old Moyer previously defeated the Braves, he pitched the final 4 1/3 innings of a 7-6, 16-inning win the Cubs claimed at Wrigley Field. During that game, Dale Murphy went 2-for-3 and drew five walks. As for Ken Griffey Sr., who flanked Murphy in left field, he had three hits, including a double in seven at-bats.
When Jamie talks about Camp Erin, he gets teary and chokes up while talking about the bereavement camps he helped start for children who have lost loved ones. Then listen to the kids themselves. It's easy to understand why the Philadelphia pitcher becomes so emotional.
Matthew Leist and his younger sister, Tristana, are among the thousands who have benefited from the network of 18 camps around the country set up by Moyer and his wife, Karen.
On July 4, 2003, the Leists lost their mother, Victoria, to cancer.
"After my mom died, I kind of went into a blank mode. Nothing else really mattered anymore," said Matthew, who was 9 at the time. "When I went to Camp Erin and I got a chance to meet other kids who can relate, it was amazing. It's like I was in this darkness and Camp Erin lit everything up."
The camps were named for Erin Metcalf, a teenager the Moyers met through the Make-A-Wish Foundation in 1998 while Jamie played for the Seattle Mariners.
They spent a lot of time with the 15-year-old girl who had developed liver cancer before she died in 2000. Two years later, the first Camp Erin opened in 2002 in Washington state.
"Erin loved to help other kids," Karen Moyer said. "She's a special, special teenager who lost her life. We wanted to honor her memory. It's really empowering for the children to be around others who have gone through the same experience. Something magical always seems to happen at the camps and we truly feel Erin's presence in every camp."
Children and teens participate in traditional camp activities, meet with grief counselors and interact with peers experiencing similar sorrow at the weekend gatherings.
During 2009 spring training, The Sporting News had Jeff D'Alessio ask Moyer tips for keeping a 46-year-old body in big league shape. And Jamie listed a few:
"Use weight training four days a week in the offseason with different variations.
"Do cardio five days a week in the offseason. I prefer spinning on a LeMond bike.
"Throwing begins on January 1, starting at 40 feet. Over the next six weeks, I build to 120 feet and 30 minutes of catch and long toss.
"Cardio every day during the season using the Hydroworx 2000 training pool at our stadium.
"Stretch between starts. The day after I start, I do lots of stretching. The next day I work on lower body and abdominal work along with a bullpen session. The next day is another stretch day along with exercisses from Dr. (Frank) Jobe. And then I have my next start," Moyer said.
Jamie became the oldest pitcher to ever WIN a game in MLB at the ripe age of 49 years and150 days old. (April 18, 2012)
On May 21, 2012 Marlins Park in Miami became the 50th Major League venue that Moyer has pitched in, which is the most among pitchers since 1921.
February 12, 2014: Comcast SportsNet announced Tuesday that Jamie is joining its Phillies broadcast team as analysts alongside play-by-play voice Tom McCarthy and in-game reporter Gregg Murphy.
- June 1984: The Cubs chose Moyer in the 6th round, out of St. Joseph's University in New York.
- December 1988: Traded to Texas with P Drew Hall and OF Rafael Palmiero. The Cubs got pitchers Paul Kilgus, Mitch Williams and Steve Wilson and INF Curtis Wilkerson plus two minor leaguers.
- October 1990: The Rangers released Moyer and the Cardinals signed him to a minor league contract in January, 1991.
- January 1992: The Cubs signed Jamie to a minor league contract.
- January 1993: Moyer signed with the Orioles.
- December 1995: Moyer signed a 1-year deal with the Red Sox.
- July 1996: The Mariners sent OF Darren Bragg to the Red Sox to acquire Jamie.
April 1999: Moyer signed a two-year contract extension for a guaranteed $15 million.
- December 2002 (at age 39): Jamie signed a three-year, $15.5 million pact with the Mariners. He gets a $1.5 million signing bonus, a 2003 salary of $6 million, $6.5 million in 2004 and then just $1.5 million in 2005.
However, he can earn as much as $6 million more in his final season based on how well he does in the next two years. He would get $1.5 more based on the number of starts he makes in 2003 and $4.5 million more based on the number of innings he pitches in 2004.
- December 7, 2005: Moyer signed a one-year contract worth $5.5 million and possibly up to $1 million more in incentives, according to The Associated Press. Moyer will get $200,000 each for 160, 170, 180, 190 and 200 innings.
August 19, 2006: The Phillies sent pitchers Andrew Baldwin and Andrew Barb to the Mariners, acquiring Moyer and cash.
October 23, 2006: The Phillies signed Moyer to a two-year, $10.5 million contract extension. Moyer has escalator clauses in his contract. He makes $7 million for 2007 and $3.5 million in 2008, but based on his performance during the 2007 season, he has the opportunity to make more in 2008.
November 1, 2008: Moyer filed for free agency.
December 15, 2008: Jamie signed a two-year contract with the Phillies.
January 17, 2012: Moyer signed with the Rockies.
The Rockies released Jamie at the end of May, 2012.
June 6, 2012: Moyer signed with the Orioles organization.
June 23, 2012: The Orioles released Jamie from the Norfolk Tides (IL).
June 26, 2012: Moyer signed with the Blue Jays organization.
July 5, 2012: Jamie was released by the Blue Jays.
- Jamie is a 6-inning or 100-pitch starting pitcher—whichever comes first. But hold him to that and he will give you some of the better outings of any pitcher in the game.
- He is effective on the inner-half of the plate, which opens up the outter half for him. And, Moyer is effective when he is ahead in the count. Jamie's best pitch is the CHANGEUP. He changes speeds and spots the ball well. The change is tantalizing, but makes hitters look foolish when he has his control.
He also has an 83-87 MPH FASTBALL, two slow CURVEBALLS, a SLIDER, a CUT FASTBALL and a SINKER. But, it's his change that makes his fastball look 4-5 MPH faster. Using the two pitches, he is in command. The only time he gets in trouble is if he throws his change too hard in relation to the fastball. He has to keep it within a 17-22 MPH differential between change and fastball. He has both a sweeping curve and one that breaks down and inside on a righthanded hitter.
- Moyer was asked if he ever threw 90 mph. Never 90 mph?
"No," he said. "Two pitches added together, maybe, but not one total pitch."
- Jamie is intelligent and poised.
- He's not afraid to pitch inside to hitters.
- His change-up is a circle-change, actually. It is thrown with the index finger and thumb put together. When Jamie was at St. Joseph's University, the team's mascot, Kevin Quirk, a former minor league pitcher, taught him the circle change.
- He still throws the kind of lazy pitches that fans in the ballpark are certain they could knock over the center field wall. But, Moyer says, "I've regained my confidence. This is a game of adjustments. Hitters make adjustments, and I've had to make them. Sometimes I make adjustments before the game, sometimes inning by inning, and sometimes hitter by hitter."
- Jamie never puts two pitches in the same spot and never throws two pitches at the same speed, either.
- Since he developed his cutter, he has become a lot more effective versus righthanded hitters.
- When facing Moyer, hitters need to show a lot of patience and discipline.
- Jamie depends on a deceptive motion and an array of offspeed pitches, much like former Orioles' lefthander Scott McGregor. He rarely walks people and seldom hurts himself with the big inning.
- Jamie is very coachable. He is not set in his ways and will try new things.
- Jamie really never gets much respect. "I'm usually the last guy teams worry about in their plans for the next season," Moyer says. "I'm the guy they figure they can keep if they can't get the guy they've got their eye on." And he says this without any animosity. Moyer is a realist.
- Former Mariners Manager Lou Piniella admires Jamie. "When he gets in trouble, he doesn't try to thorw harder. Sometimes trying to throw harder beats you. He never puts two pitches in the same location, never throws them the same speed."
- Moyer throws so slow, the hitter has to tell himself, "Stay back, stay back, stay back--until you can't wait any longer. And then you pop it up, or top a ball back to the pitcher, or get hold of one that dies 10 feet short of the warning track for an easy out.
- In 2001, Jamie really pitched well in the second half, going 11-2 with a 2.22 ERA in his final 16 starts.
But in 2003, he was 12-5, 3.02 in the first half and 9-2 with a 3.59 ERA after the All Star break.
- With his advancing age (turned 45 in November 2007) while still pitching like he has taken a youth potion, Moyer is being coming a "Dick Clark," of baseball.
But he gave up 44 home runs in 2004 -- 16 more dingers than he ever has allowed. Maybe age has finally cost Moyer just enough of his command and his velocity that hitters are able to hit the ball hard.
OLDSTER PITCHING RECORDS
- There are only four pitchers with 200 Major League wins who won more games in their 40s than their 20s, and Moyer is one of them. The others who were big winners in the 40s: Jack Quinn, who had 40 wins in his 20s and 104 in his 40s; Phil Niekro, who had 21 wins in his 20s and 131 in his 40s; and Charlie Hough, who had 34 wins in his 20s and 67 in his 40s.
- On June 2, 2006, Moyer became the oldest pitcher to throw a shutout since Charlie Hough did it at age 46 on June 14, 1994. Moyer is the oldest to do it on two hits or fewer since Nolan Ryan's final no-hitter on May 1, 1991, at age 44.
- On June 27, 2010: Moyer allowed his 506th homer of his career, a two-run shot to Toronto's Vernon Wells. This homer breaks a career record held by former Phillie legend Robin Roberts.
When a few of the smirky clubhouse guys delivered the home run ball to Moyer as a momento, the 47-year-old pitcher accepted the gift with humor saying, "Maybe I'll let the dog play with it."
Now Jamie has given up more career homers than Eddie Murray hit.
- On April 17, 2012: Moyer became the oldest pitcher in Major League history to win a game. At 49 years and 151 days, Moyer surpassed the previous record held by the Brooklyn Dodgers' Jack Quinn, who beat the St. Louis Cardinals at Ebbets Field on Sept. 13, 1932, when he was 49 years and 70 days old. Moyer also tied Hall of Famer Jim Palmer for 35th place on the all-time wins list with 268.
- Moyer retired with a career record of 269–209 and a 4.25 ERA. He had allowed 522 home runs and 4231 hits in 4074 innings.