You can keep Kobe, LeBron, The Phenom on the Washington Nationals, Sid The Kid, and Landon Donovan. I'll take Jamie Moyer. I can say unabashedly that he is No. 1 sports hero. And he should be yours, too.
Moyer set a dubious record a few days ago. He allowed his 506th home run, to break the late Robin Roberts' high (or low)-water mark for his major-league pitching career. Plus, Moyer is 47 years old. He is also one of the mainstays of the Philadelphia Phillies, baseball's only team to appear in the past two World Series.
Yeah, there are plenty of athletes out there who have more pizzaz, more glitz, more charisma. But Moyer is The Man.
Isn't it about time that our society appreciated someone who has longevity instead of an overnight sensation? It's amazing to me that the late Sen. Robert Byrd would garner less of a buzz than Scott Brown — but these are the ground rules of our society. We have a collective very short attention span. So be it.
Getting back to Moyer. There is something noble, heroic, even, about a journeyman today. Moyer goes to the mound every fifth game, knowing that each start could be his last one. The Yankees' A.J. Burnett can struggle through a disastrous, winless month of June and know he will get the call. He is in his prime.
Moyer was never exactly in his prime. But he has survived in baseball since the mid-1980s by using his noggin to outwit opposing batters. He has thrived on a brawny brain, not a brawny forearm.
It's wonderful to see players literally half his age look helpless in the batter's box. As a lifelong baseball fan, I am always excited by the pitcher-hitter confrontation. Moyer could teach a doctorate-level course on it.
Longevity counts. Moyer deserves our appreciation and respect.
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Jon Friedman writes the Media Web column for MarketWatch.com. Click here to read his latest column.
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