Wednesday, January 11, 2012

DAHOF Top 100 -- #71 Jamie Moyer

I am going to need to pick up the pace with my Top 100 favorite players to complete the project before the season starts.

On April 21st, 2007 I had the opportunity to shoot the Phillies and Nationals at old RFK Stadium in DC. Much to my chagrin, 44 year old Jamie Moyer was the Phillies starting pitcher. I had hoped for the the chance to see Cole Hamels, but the early season pitching rotation was unpredictable because of the rainy weather. Instead, the baseball gods decided to teach me a lesson about the immeasurable value of a crafty lefty.

For the entire afternoon Moyer baffled the young and overly aggressive Nationals. I don't think he threw a pitch over 84 MPH the entire game, but he was in complete control and seemed to get more confident as the game rolled on. The 6th, 7th, and 8th innings looked like this: Flyball, walk, double play / ground out, pop out, strike out looking / ground out, ground out, strike out swinging. Through eight innings Moyer had a 4-0 lead and had given up only two hits.

The best part of the day came as Moyer was preparing to take his turn at the plate in the 4th inning. I was in the photographers well directly behind the on-deck circle. Nationals fans aren't particularly rough or obnoxious, but one fan was loudly sharing the fact Jamie Moyer has never hit a home run in 20 years in the majors, over and over. Without showing any anger or emotion, Moyer turned around, looked the man directly in the eye, smiled, and asked "How many do you have?". And then there was silence.

Moyer walked to the plate and stroked a single to centerfield.

Heading into the ninth, I was looking forward to cherishing an amazing complete game shutout by a truly professional pitcher...when the baseball gods decided to teach me another lesson about this game. In the bottom of the ninth, the Nationals Ryan Zimmerman and Dmitri Young smashed back-to-back doubles to ruin the shutout and knock Moyer out of the game. I was shocked. Phils closer Tom Gordon came in and eventually stopped the rally preserving the victory.


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