Why is Super Bowl Sunday significant to a Rockies fan?
Because he or she knows that pitchers and catchers report to Spring training in exactly 2 weeks; with position players joining in 3!
25 years ago, after going 7-4 in his initial 16 starts with the Cubs, a 24 year old Jamie Moyer was spending his first off-season as a big leaguer;
probably watching John Elway and the Broncos lose Super Bowl XXI to Phil Simms and the New York Giants.
I wonder of Moyer is rooting for the Giants this weekend as he spends his first off-season as a current member of the Colorado Rockies???
Moyer made his major league debut about 7 months prior to the 1987 Super Bowl, on 6/16/86.
He and Dave Martinez were called up by the Cubs a day earlier.
To make room for the two players, Chicago sent pitcher Matt Keough and outfielder Terry Francona to triple A Iowa.
Yes, as in current ESPN Sunday night baseball commentator, Terry Francona, who is only two and a half years older than Moyer!
His Wrigley Field start for the Cubs against the Phillies began inauspiciously: current Brewers manager Ron Roenicke, (and uncle to Moyer’s current teammate Josh Roenicke!) led off the game with a double.
Rick Schu, who has been a hitting instructor with the Diamondbacks, hit a grounder to short that Roenicke tried to advance on, unsuccessfully.
He than hit Juan Samuel with a pitch to put runners at 1st and 2nd.
If Moyer makes the Rockies, he can relive that moment when the ball club travels to Philadelphia in June.
Samuel is the current Phillies 3rd base coach!
Jamie then induced an inning ending double play grounder off of the bat of Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt – 3rd to 2nd to 1st.
Down 1-0 to Hall of Famer Steve Carlton (yes, Moyer made his debut against the 41 year old lefty who was pitching in his 688th career game) and the Phillies,
the Cubs would spot Moyer a 3 run lead in the 4th inning after he drew a walk and current Giants special assistant Shawon Dunston would double home the rookie and his battery mate Steve Lake.
Lake was the1st of the 39 catchers that Moyer has thrown to in a major league game; but he was behind the plate for only Moyer’s first 2 starts.
Current Toledo Mud Hens hitting instructor Leon Durham would back Moyer’s debut with a 2 run homer.
Current Lehigh Valley Ironpigs (Phillies AAA affiliate) manager, and Hall of Famer, Ryne Sandberg, would single in current Dodgers 1st base coach Davey Lopes to give Moyer an insurmountable 7-2 lead.
Another current Giants special assistant, Lee Smith, would save Moyer’s 1st win in the bigs, in which Jamie would strike out only 2 Phillies;
Glenn Wilson and former Pirates manager and current Orioles bench coach, John Russell.
In the Cubs’ bullpen that June day of 1986?
CURRENT ROOT SPORTS ROCKIES’ ANALYST, GEORGE FRAZIER!
Moyer didn’t fare quite as well in his 2nd start in the majors, which happened 7 days later, but IN Philadelphia.
He lasted 8 outs; allowing 6 runs on 7 hits.
George Frazier relieved and lasted 7 outs (despite retiring 4 of the first 6 batters he faced…); allowing 8 runs on 6 hits.
Jay Baller worked the final 3 innings; allowing 5 more runs on 7 hits.
Juan Samuel hit the first ever homer off of Moyer in that contest.
#471 of Mike Schmidt’s 548 career home runs occurred in Jamie’s 2nd outing.
And John Russell would knock Moyer out the game with a run scoring double.
Payback for the Phillies catcher from a week earlier
Phillies 19, Cubs 1.
The number on Moyer’s uniform for those Cubs’ games in 1986 – 49, his current age.
Wonder what number he’ll be wearing in 2 weeks when he toes a rubber at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick…?
Rex Bothers wears 49.
#50 is available.