Jamie Moyer — MLB’s One Percent
To be a pitcher in Major League Baseball, you need to be able to throw the ball faster than you’re allowed to drive. The act of pitching tears the arm from the body which means a long pitching career requires strength, agility and endurance. In a New York Times article, Sam Roberts writes about how long players last in the majors…
“On average, a rookie can expect to play major league baseball for 5.6 years… And only about 1% of players last 20 seasons or more.”
In this one percent is Jamie Moyer. He played on nine teams from 1986 to 2012. At 45 he went to the World Series with the Mariners. Moyer’s perseverance through four decades makes him stand out as one of the hardest working and most talented players in baseball history.
After winning the world series, he was injured and had Tommy Johns surgery. Shortly thereafter, he began working with a physical therapist, Yousef Ghandour, to heal and get back on the field. In Moyer’s book, “Just Tell Me I Can’t” he writes about Ghandour and their journey rebuilding his arm.
Ghandour’s therapy program consisted of more repetitions using less weight and consistent resistance. The time required to complete this program was more than Moyer could spend in the therapist’s office, but Moyer was committed, and Ghandour had the perfect solution. Ghandour developed an at-home pulley system called the Therapulley. Using this tool, Moyer was able to spend hours per day on low weight, high repetition exercise required to heal his elbow. Moyer’s focus on therapy after surgery enabled him to continue pitching. He went on to play for the Rockies and pitched a no hitter before retiring in 2012, proof Ghandour’s methods worked to rebuild the pitcher’s arm.
Now, the Mariners are honoring Jamie Moyer as the 9th inductee into the Mariner’s Hall of Fame. He was with the Mariners for 11 seasons from ‘96 to ’06 and had a 3.97 ERA after 324 games. He has the most wins, starts and innings pitched in the franchise. He didn’t have to throw the fastest ball or win every game to be great – he was just himself: a committed, focused athlete who knows how to throw a strike and work on his game.