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Hall comes calling after Moyer's historic win

Hall comes calling after Moyer's historic win

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Hall comes calling after Moyer's historic win
DENVER -- Rockies left-handed pitcher Jamie Moyer was pleased the Hall of Fame called for materials from Tuesday night, when he became the oldest pitcher to win a game in Major League history at 49 years and 151 days.

But Moyer has been around long enough to ask anyone, even the Hall, to wait.

"They have asked for a glove and a hat," said Moyer, who earned the decision in a 5-3 victory over the Padres, and was introduced and honored before Wednesday night's game with the Padres. "The hat is real easy. The glove is harder to part with. I am going to give them a glove, but I have to break in a new one.

"The Hall of Fame is, obviously, a very historical place. It holds the history of Major League Baseball and probably before Major League Baseball. So for them to ask for articles from last night's game it's a huge honor to be able to give them some things."

Moyer (1-2) eclipsed Jack Quinn of the Brooklyn Dodgers, who beat the Cardinals on Sept. 13, 1932, at 49 years and 75 days. Hall of Famers Phil Niekro and Hoyt Wilhelm each won games at age 48-plus, and Hall of Famer Satchel Paige finished the top five by winning at 47 years and 77 days.

From when he signed a Minor League contract with the Rockies during the winter, through Spring Training and through three starts this regular season, the question has been the same: How does he do it?

Moyer, who missed last season because of elbow surgery, but felt good enough during rehab to plan a comeback, said his age and experience actually help him. His ability to keep things in stride certainly helped through his first two starts this season, when he pitched reasonably well, but the Rockies committed five errors behind him.

"At this age, experience is helping me greatly," Moyer said. "Knowledge of myself is helping. I don't think I really knew myself that well as a 23-24-year-old kid. I wasn't really prepared for the big leagues. From when I signed, I was in the big leagues in two years. I wasn't prepared for it, mentally.

"Physically, I just kind of got through it. I had some pretty good guidance from veteran players, but they couldn't be on the mound with me. I really had to try to learn and ask questions. I took my fair share of lumps, actually for many years, early in my career. I think at some point, I can't remember exactly when, I came to the realization that I had to take positive things out of outings. Whether you have had a good day or a bad day, you have to take something positive from that outing and learn and gain and move forward."

Moyer said he feels fine, physically, even after two starts in Denver's altitude, which is known to take its toll on players at any age.

"A little tired today," Moyer said. "Other than that, I'm feeling good."

Moyer is patiently accepting the attention that comes with the record, but it's not his focus.

"I was excited that we won," Moyer said. "To me, it's the reason I'm here, I hope it's the reason the other 24 guys are here. We need to win a lot of baseball games. Milestones and records aside, to me, that becomes secondary when you are playing a team sport and you have a goal of progressing into the playoffs."

Manager Jim Tracy said Moyer -- the only Rockies starter to last at least five innings in each of his starts this year -- is more than a novelty.

"His interest level wasn't to come here and just win one game," Moyer said. "He's interested in doing a lot more over the course of a six-month season. I cannot speak enough about not only what he has done between the lines, but also the impact he has had, and continues to have in between his starts.

"It's not only in his own preparation, but some of the things he is doing with some of the younger pitchers. More and more, I see them kind of huddled around him, or I'll see him go to a specific pitcher and start talking about different things. This is a wealth of knowledge."

One doesn't have to be a pitcher to marvel at Moyer.

"Not very often do you get to see only one person in history get to do something," Rockies outfielder Michael Cuddyer said. "There was awareness right from the get-go. You know he's going for it. You know what's at stake. You know everything about it."

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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