22 Sept 2008: The House That Jake Built, and Other Ancient Wonders

Monday, September 22 2008 @ 12:45 PM EDT

Contributed by: Magpie

The Yankees played their final game at the old Stadium last night, because the Yankees won't be in the World Series this year.

It's been five years since Jorge Posada hit a little roller back to Josh Beckett for the final out of the 2003 series. Five whole years the Stadium has gone without hosting a World Series game. An unimaginably long period of time in Yankees annals, surpassed only twice since they opened the place: by the heart of the Steinbrenner Era (1982 through 1995), and the CBS years (1965 through 1975.)

The very first man to bat at Yankee Stadium in a World Series game would have an excellent view of many more in his lengthy post-playing career. It was none other than Casey Stengel, who hit an inside the park homer off Bullet Joe Bush. Without actually doing the math, which is way too much work for this aging sports fan, I'm pretty sure that Yogi Berra was in uniform, as both player and manager, for more World Series games than anyone. But Casey would probably be second.

Elsewhere - the Phillies are now 1.5 ahead of the Mets for the NL East Division lead. They also have a comfy 3 game cushion on the Brewers if they need the Wild Card to fall back on. This would be a good time to gaze in awe and wonder at another relic from olden days: Jamie Moyer. Moyer, who probably only fled Seattle so he wouldn't have to listen to people calling him "The Ancient Mariner" (who stoppeth one in three), now sports a pretty nifty 15-7, 3.78 log. Moyer will be 46 years old in November. This is pretty remarkable for a fellow who doesn't throw a knuckleball, and it's not like his home field gives him an advantage.

Moyer is unlikely to be going to the Hall of Fame - while he has a pair of 20 win seasons, he has been named to exactly one All-Star Game in his career and his career ERA is 4.19. Still, Moyer has won 245 games in his career. That's pretty darn stupendous all by itself. And since turning 30, Moyer has won 213 games (while losing just 131.) There are very few pitchers in the history of the game who have won more games past the age of 30. Phil Niekro comes to mind, and Cy Young (naturally). Probably a few more, I suppose. Can't be many.

It's normally power pitchers and knuckleballers who maintain effectiveness into middle age. Moyer is neither, of course. He's something unique, and we ought to appreciate him while we still can. They're building a new Yankee Stadium, but I don't know when we'll ever see another Jamie Moyer.