When Jamie Moyer joined the Seattle Mariners before the 1996 season, he was just a beer-drinking, soft-tossing lefty. He is still a soft-tossing lefty, but he has traded beer for wine after teammates began ordering bottles for the table at dinner.
"At first I was like nah, that's not me," says Moyer. "But after I tried it I really started to acquire a taste for it and it's become a hobby of mine." Moyer converted the basement of his 19th century Seattle home into a wine cellar and when he has spare time on road trips, he'll find a wine shop and pick the staff's brains for new brands to try.
That ability to adapt has helped Moyer pitch 22 seasons in the big leagues, making him the game's longest-tenured player, and at age 45, the oldest. But he is a long way from retiring to his wine cellar. In fact, Moyer's 16-7 record and 3.71 ERA represented his best season since his career year in 2003, when he won 21 games for the Mariners.
While he has struggled in the postseason, going 0-2 with a 13.50 ERA, Moyer will nevertheless be on the mound for the pivotal Game 3, his first World Series appearance.
Once there, Moyer will have the comfort of pitching in not only his home ballpark but his hometown as well. He grew up Souderton, Penn., an hour north of Philadelphia, and skipped school one autumn day in 1980 to attend the team's first --and thus far only -- World Series victory parade. His father, Jim, coached him from ages eight to 18 and instilled a love for the game that has followed Moyer into middle age. "He just allowed it to be fun," says Moyer. "I think that's why I still enjoy it so much now."
Moyer stayed in Philly to attend St. Joseph's University before being selected in the sixth round of the 1984 draft by the Cubs, with whom he made his major league debut in 1986. In Chicago, he was introduced to an intern at WGN TV,
Besides providing for his own brood, Moyer founded the Jamie Moyer Foundation in 2000 and has since raised more than $15 million for distressed children around the country. Moyer says he picked this cause after meeting a girl in a Seattle area hospital named
MLB recognized his charitable efforts in 2003 by honoring him with the Roberto Clemente Award, given to the player who combines outstanding baseball skills with devoted work in the community. This year's winner will be announced before Game 3 of the World Series, right before Moyer takes the mound to oppose Tampa Bay's 24-year-old righty