An elderly man's pristine pitching mechanics.
Why we like him: What came first: the chicken or the egg? Jesse Orosco.
Jesse Orosco pitched for 237 major league seasons. Well, not really. He only pitched for 24 seasons on 9 different teams, and was one of the best relief pitchers I've ever had the joy of watching or making fun of. Not only did the guy hang around until the tender age of 46 years young, proving that if you're left-handed, you can pitch forever (right, Jamie Moyer?), but he was actually effective for most of them. He started a couple of games, saved a lot of games, pitched long relief a bunch, set up a closer sometimes, and mopped up when he was bored over the course of the career that started in 1979.
In 1983 at the age of 26, he put together an impressive campaign, posting a 13-7 record and a tidy 1.47 ERA for the Mets. It was good enough to earn the first of his two All Star appearances and a third place finish in Cy Young voting. However, this guy wasn't just good for a couple of seasons from a long career. He was very good for what seemed like an eternity.
It would be easier if we just did it this way. Jesse Orosco is so old...
- he regularly threw BP to Abner Doubleday
- in his rookie year, bases were called I, II, III
- he pitched his first game against the Indians...real Indians
- his first win came against Carthage
- the ancient fourth-dynasty hieroglyphic symbol for save is a Mets #47 jersey
- Julio Franco
- his first indoor game was in a cave
- he thought astroturf was made from real Astros
- when he came in from the bullpen, his music was played by Bach on a tuba
- his rookie card was a stone stele made by Fleer in 1056 BC
- his first hanging curve hitting the bat caused the Big Bang
- he thought the first televised game he saw was stealing players souls
- his first glove was made of iguanodon
- he would calculate his ERA using an abacus
- he once hit a batter causing the benches to clear and form phalanxes
- he pitched a rain-shortened one-hitter against the Hittites
- he once made a diving catch at the wall...of Troy
Do you get it yet? The man is a legend. At least he is to me. Nobody in their right mind would ever pitch until they were 46 if they didn't love the game. Jesse Orosco loved the game. And clearly the game loved Jesse back. And we love him too.
Ladies and gentlemen, Jesse Orosco, Ballplayer.