Like most sports, Major League Baseball is typically dominated by youth. Players tend to reach their best production before the age of 30, and most begin to level off as they approach 35.
However, there are exceptions to the rule. And it’s always fun when the “old guys” succeed.
Throughout its history, baseball has seen its fair share of memorable moments starring older players (in sports terms). So with that in mind, here we leave you with the oldest baseball players to reach a series of milestones in MLB, like getting a hit, being the World Series MVP and a bunch of other departments.
Oldest position player and oldest position player to have a hit: Charley O’Leary, St. Louis Carmelites
1934; 58 years old, 350 days old
O’Leary was not known for his bat during his playing career. The infielder hit .226 for life with three home runs in 11 seasons. However, he does have the honor of being the oldest player to hit and score a run in a major league game. In Game 2 of a doubleheader on the final day of the 1934 season, the Carmelites called up O’Leary, by then one of the club’s coaches, and brought him out of retirement to take a pinch-hit turn upstairs. of the sixth inning. O’Leary singled off Tigers reliever Elden Auker, then scored on Jack Burns’ double.
Oldest position player to be included in the starting lineup: Jim O’Rourke, New York Giants
1904; 54 years old, 21 days old
O’Rourke played most of his professional career in the 19th century. But in 1904, he returned to play one last game for the Giants, who were managed by his friend John McGraw. On September 22, at age 54, O’Rourke caught all nine innings and even had a hit and scored a run during New York’s 7-5 win over the Reds.
Oldest pitcher to start a game and oldest pitcher to strikeout: Satchel Paige, Kansas City Athletics
1965; 59 years, 80 days old
More than a decade into what seemed like his last major league game in 1953, Paige was signed to pitch one game by A’s owner Charlie Finley, who was trying to build attendance down the stretch. of the 1965 season. Because of his ties to the legendary Negro Leagues franchise, the Kansas City Monarchs, Paige was a legend around town and 9,289 fans turned out to see him pitch against the Red Sox at Municipal Stadium, plus fans than the team had drawn in their previous five games together. The 59-year-old right-hander rested in a rocking chair while a nurse served him coffee before the game, then started and pitched three shutout innings, allowing one hit and striking out one.
Oldest player to hit a home run: Julio Franco, Mets
2007; 48 years, 254 days old
The Dominican, who served primarily as a pinch hitter for the 2006 Mets late in his 23-year career, was already 42 when he hit his 173rd and final Major League home run on May 4, 2007. it was even older than you think, because Franco hit it off Randy Johnson, who was 43 at the time.
Franco is also the oldest player to hit a homer in the postseason. He was 43 years and 59 days old when he pitched it for the Braves against the D-backs in Game 4 of the 2001 NLCS. His two home runs in that postseason allowed him to pass Dave Winfield, who hit two home runs in the playoffs when he already I was 41 years old.
Oldest pitcher to win a game: Jamie Moyer, Rockies
2012; 49 years, 180 days old
The resourceful southpaw used his exceptional control to pitch 25 years in the majors, and he was still on the field at age 49 dominating opponents. His 269th and final career win came on May 16, 2012, which is impressive considering his first came on June 16, 1986 (the day he made his MLB debut). He limited the D-backs to one run in 6 1/3 innings with five strikeouts at Coors Field.
Oldest pitcher to win a postseason game: Dennis Martinez, Braves
1998; 44 years, 150 days old
The Nicaraguan, whose best days were with the Orioles and Expos, was a reliever for the Braves in the last of his 23 seasons in the Majors when he won Game 4 of the 1998 NLCS against the Padres. He faced only one batter, knocking out Chris Gomez with a groundout to end the sixth, before the Braves went ahead in the top of the seventh.
The oldest pitcher to win a postseason game in Roger Clemens, who was 43 years and 72 days old when he won Game 3 of the 2005 NLCS for the Astros pitching six two-run innings against the Cardinals.
Oldest pitcher to throw a no hit no run: Nolan Ryan, Rangers
1991; 44 years old, 90 days old
It’s no surprise that the pitcher who threw seven hitless games, the most of all time, is also the oldest pitcher. Ryan was 44 years old when he completed his seventh and final no-no for the Rangers and against the Blue Jays on May 1, 1991. The mighty right-hander struck out 16 in that game.
Oldest pitcher on Opening Day: Jack Quinn, Brooklyn Robins
1931; 47 years, 287 days old
Before Quinn took the mound for Brooklyn’s first game in 1931, the oldest pitcher to start an Opening Day game dating back to 1901 was Pete Alexander (42 years, 49 days old) in the year 1929. Quinn was five years older in 1931. Surprisingly, it turned out to be Quinn’s last outing, as the right-hander made his last 94 appearances in relief from 1931-33.
Oldest player to be a home run champion: Darrell Evans, Tigers
1985; 38 years, 133 days old
Evans hit 41 home runs in 1973 at age 26, but it took him more than a decade to get back to 40 homers in a season. By 1985, Evans seemed to be fading, hitting just 16 home runs in 131 games for the 1984 World Series-winning Tigers. But Evans regained power in 1985. In a battle of veterans, he outpointed 37-year-old Carlton Fisk , to capture the American League home run crown, 40-37. Dale Murphy led the National League with 37 homers, giving Evans the Major League home run title as well. Evans was 38 years and 133 days old when he finished the season, making him the oldest player to lead the Majors in home runs.
MVP and oldest batting champion: Barry Bonds, Giants
2004; 40 years, 71 days old (at the end of the season)
With his fourth straight NL MVP (and seventh overall) in 2004, Bonds became the first 40-something to earn an MVP in any of North America’s four major sports, according to Elias Sports. Bureau. That year, Bonds set a single-season record for walks (232), intentional walks (120) and OPS (1,422), breaking records he himself had set in previous years. Before Bonds, the oldest player to win an MVP was Willie Stargell, who shared the honor with Keith Hernandez in 1979.
Bonds also won his second batting title with a .362 average, making him the oldest player to accomplish the feat. Bonds edged out Ted Williams by a matter of months, as the Boston slugger claimed the American League batting crown in 1958 at 40 years and 29 days old.
Oldest Cy Young Award winner: Roger Clemens, Astros
2004; 42 years, 61 days old (at the end of the season)
Clemens won more Cy Young Awards, seven, than any other pitcher. The last one was in his first season in Houston at 42 years old. “The Rocket” went 18-4 with a 2.98 ERA and 218 strikeouts in 33 starts that season, leading the Astros to the NL Championship Series.
Oldest All-Stars: Satchel Paige, St. Louis Carmelites (pitcher) and Pete Rose, Reds (position player)
1953; 47 years, 7 days old (Paige) and 1985; 44 years, 93 days old (Rose)
Paige spent most of his career playing in the Negro Leagues before making his major league debut in 1948 at age 42. He kept throwing at a high level and was named to the All-Star Game in 1952. Paige duplicated that feat when he pitched in the 1954 All-Star Game at Cincinnati’s Crosley Field, becoming the oldest player (pitcher or position player) ever appears in a Midseason Classic.
The oldest position player to see action in an All-Star Game is Rose, who pinch-hit for Fernando Valenzuela in the top of the eighth inning during the 1985 All-Star Game at the Metrodrome in Minneapolis and hit a foul shot
Oldest player named World Series MVP: Willie Stargell, Pirates
1979; 39 years, 225 days old
In 1979, Stargell swept the accolades, being named NL MVP, NL Championship Series MVP and World Series MVP. The 39-year-old Pirates star hit .455 with two home runs in the NLCS and .400 with three home runs in the Fall Classic – including the go-ahead home run in Game 7 – to become the first player to win both awards MVP of a postseason (Championship Series and World Series).
Oldest manager: Connie Mack, Philadelphia A’s
1950; 87 years, 283 days old
Only two octogenarians have managed a major league game: Mack and Jack McKeon. After three seasons with the Pirates, Mack spent an incredible 50 years as manager of the A’s. In that stretch, he captured the American League pennant nine times and won five World Series crowns. Although he was inducted into the Hall of Fame, Mack continued to manage the Philadelphia Ninth until 1950.
Oldest manager to win a World Series: Jack McKeon, Marlins
2003; 72 years, 336 days old
It wasn’t McKeon who began the 2003 season as the Marlins’ manager, but Jeff Torborg, who was fired after the team started the season 16-22. McKeon, 72, took the reins, led Florida to a 75-49 record the rest of the way, stunningly beat the Yankees in the World Series and was recognized as the National League Manager of the Year. .
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