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On the mound, but not over the hill

Posted at 10:09 AM on June 27, 2007 by Steve Rudolph

I’ve heard that 40 is the new 30. After looking through the tonight’s pitching match-ups, I’m begin to believe it’s true.

A record seven pitchers who are in their 40s are scheduled to start Major League games tonight. That magnificent seven, which includes the Yankees’ Roger Clemens (44), Philadelphia's Jamie Moyer (44), Detroit's Kenny Rogers (42), San Diego's Greg Maddux (41), the New York Mets' Tom Glavine (41), Houston's Woody Williams (40) and Atlanta's John Smoltz (40) has combined for 1,743 career wins, 42 All-Star games and 14 Cy Young Awards.

Most are still near the top of their games. Moyer is 7-1 with a 2.83 ERA. Smoltz is 8-4 with an ERA around three and looked as impressive against the Twins last week as he did in 1991. Rogers, who recently made his season debut following surgery, was the key to the Tigers World Series run last year.

Watching the success of these patriarchal pitchers is enough to give a thirtysomething guy like me a glimmer of hope. If only I had a fastball that topped 90 instead of one in the mid-50s. Maybe I can learn to throw a knuckleball before the Twins next tryout camp...

I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that pitchers aren’t the only ones playing past 40. Check out this geriatric all-star team. However, some of these guys might have a hard time pushing Nick Punto out of the Twins lineup.

June 2007
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