I have not posted any successes in my quest to collect autographs from the 2009 Allen and Ginter set in a long, long time. The last one came during the 3rd week of September, it was just my 7th autograph out of 350 cards with over 175 requests sent. With the baseball season complete I didn’t anticipate getting any more Ginter Graphs until spring training, but miraculously, today I received three more from multiple unexpected sources. That places me at 10 autographs from this set-very near to being 3% complete! Two of the autographs came in the mail, on the very same day; the third was acquired by my lovely wife, the Legendary Esther Gin N Juice and given to me as a surprise. For the sake of suspense and due to a lack of time-I really need to finish my essays, they are DUE on Monday morning, I will post just one today.
It came from ageless Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Jaimie Moyer. I have professed my hatred for the Phillies a number of times, but I do not hold any resentment against Moyer, in fact I wouldn’t hesitate to call myself a fan of his. As someone who is getting long in the tooth myself, I find myself rooting for Moyer more and more with each passing season. Moyer is at that point, statistically, where he seems to inch up the career leaders lists with every appearance. This happens with positive stats and those of infamy as well. For instance, he began 2009 5th All Time in taters served, but allowing 24 this past year, he moved past several Hall of Famers into 2nd All Time in that category, behind only another former Phillies, Robin Roberts who set the standard with 504 homers allowed and has held that dubious distinction for over 40 years. I had written about Phil Niekro on my other blog recently and Niekro is a perfect pitcher to compare Moyer to. Not that Moyer ever successfully threw a knuckler, but in the success that they have both enjoyed north of 40. Arguably Moyer’s finest season came in 2003 with the Seattle Mariners at the ripe age of 40. That was the first and only time he appeared in an All Star game and he set a personal best with 21 victories. He had Cy Young type numbers in ’03 and finished 5th in the voting for the award. Roy Halladay would be the AL’s winner that year, but he and Moyer had comparable numbers. Halladay was 22-7 with a 3.25 ERA while Moyer was 21-7 with a 3.27 ERA. Pretty darn close if ya ask me. Halladay got the better in the strikeout department with 204 to Moyer’s 129, but the main reason that Halladay took the Award was that RH completed 9 games while Moyer only finished 1 game. Otherwise Moyer allowed fewer runs, home runs, and hits and had no wild pitches or balks all year long. The other difference was Moyer was 40 freaking years old when he had that epic season and Halladay was just a young lad of 26. Moyer began the 2009 season in a tie with Hall of Famer Joe McGinnity for 48th All Time in wins with 246. With each victory he climbed that ladder and finished the season with 12 wins and moved past HOFers Vic Willis, Bob Gibson, Al Spalding, Carl Hubbell and Red Faber into sole possession of 41st place on the All Time list. Should he come back in 2010 and win another dozen ball games that would move him ahead of a few more Hall of Famers with names like Feller, Lyons, Rixey and Palmer. 12 more wins would leave him with 270 and place him in a tie for 33rd with Mike Mussina and Burleigh Grimes. Heck, since I am speculating anyway, should Moyer have 4 more decent seasons in him he could become the 25th man (and just the 7th leftie) to join the exclusive 300 win club. As he stands presently Moyer is 10th All Time among left handers in wins. I was very disappointed in Charlie Manuel for not adding Jamie Moyer to the postseason staff-I really felt that Moyer could have been at least as effective, if not more so than Cole Hamels in October. If I remember correctly, at the All Star break Moyer was leading the Phils staff in wins and before he lost his job to Martinez, he was one of their more successful starters. At 4.94, he did have a rather robust ERA, but the Phillies bats supported him well and he finished the year with a 12 and 10 record. What was Cole’s season mark? 10-11 I believe. I thought that Charlie Manuel was a by the numbers skipper and by those numbers the 46 year old lefty is better than the 25-year-old lefty-Cole Hamels. I think that Hamels is going to have plenty more opportunities to lose games in the World Series, it is unsure how many more shots that Moyer will get and I would have loved to see him have the chance. I don’t think that Moyer has a shot at the Hall of Fame, his career 4.22 ERA doesn’t scream Immortal, but he has been an above average pitcher for 23 seasons and it is exciting for me to see him climb the ladder and pass all of those Greats of the Game along the way. I really hope that Moyer can find a job and return in 2010 and win a few more. Now, onto the card-I love pretty much everything about this year's A & G which is why I decided to try and get the entire set autographed. Moyer’s card is no exception. The rendering of him just looks Noble, very appropriate for a guy who just passed Carl freaking Hubbell on the All Time wins list. I can remember when I was 11 years old and Moyer was breaking into the Cubs rotation I sent him a letter with a card and he returned it pretty quickly. I still had that memory with me when I tried him this year, twenty years later. He was a great signer then, I thought he still might be and sure enough he is. I can almost imagine him sitting in the clubhouse after the Series ended, not happy, but not wanting to blow-off his fans either, opening up his fan mail and signing his name in black sharpie. It’s those images I get that add to the connection I receive from a TTM autograph. Thanks so much Mr. Moyer! Congrats on leading the Phillies as far as you could and congrats on being the 41st winningest pitcher in baseball history! I guess I could also say congrats on being the 8th success in my Allen and Ginter auto quest…So, who do you think success number 9 and 10 will be? You’ll have to wait until Monday, unless I finish my essays sooner… troll out.