On Tuesday, the Mariners announced that they would be inducting a ninth member into the team Hall of Fame. Jamie Moyer will be inducted during a ceremony prior to the Mariners game on Saturday, August 8.
It feels odd writing a reflection piece on someone who was a rookie the same year I was born. Moyer spent 25 years in the majors and 11 of them were with the Mariners. When he joined the Mariners, he was already 33, well past the traditional prime of his career. But Moyer wasn’t like many other baseball players. Instead of declining into obscurity on the Mariners, he thrived and rejuvenated his career. Moyer would go on to become the winningest pitcher in Mariners history.
Prior to joining the Mariners, Jamie Moyer was a journeyman lefty who hadn’t enjoyed much success at the major league level. The Mariners were his sixth team but he quickly found a home in the Pacific Northwest. In his first full year with the club, he won seventeen games and accumulated 3.2 WAR, a career high at that point. He was a 20-game winner twice with the Mariners and was an integral rotation member during the Mariners’ dominance during the late 90’s and early 00’s. During the 2001 playoffs, he had two dominant starts against the Indians in the Division Series and another win against the Yankees in the Championship Series (3 Wins, 19 IP, 15 SO, 3 BB, 4 ER, 1.89 ERA).
All of this was accomplished at an age when the average pitcher would be breaking down and retiring. Between 1996 and 2006, Moyer ranks ninth in wins, eighth in innings pitched, and twenty-first in WAR among qualified starters in the majors. That’s pretty amazing for someone in his mid-thirties and early-forties. Moyer was known for his excellent changeup and, between 2002 (the first year of pitch data) and 2006, his changeup was worth 1.78 runs above average per 100 pitches, the sixth best mark during that time period.
All of that seems trivial when you consider the work Moyer did in the Seattle community. The Moyer Foundation has been supporting children in Washington State since 2000 and he was honored on four separate occasions for his work in the community by Major League Baseball. Seattle fell in love with Jamie Moyer and he repaid that tenfold. His induction into the team’s Hall of Fame is well deserved.
What were some of your favorite memories of Jamie Moyer?