Longtime, first time: They come from a different time, when a Hawk, a Strawberry and the first stage of a Rocket ruled the game, the time before Interleague, Wild Card and Ichiro, when the manager of the Mets was a former second baseman not named Randolph and the only big-league baseball in Florida or Arizona was played before April Fools Day.
They have been parts of the game for most of the past 20 seasons, each a left-handed starting pitcher who now comes with resume, gray hair and less velocity than he once had -- not that either ever wowed a radar gun.
They are contemporaries, to be sure, but never have they been same-day adversaries.
That distinction is to be eliminated Thursday night when Tom Glavine and Jamie Moyer start the same game -- Glavine for the Mets, Moyer for the Phillies -- in a game for the ages. They never have opposed each other, but it's an old story just the same.
Moyer, now 44, was the oldest player in the American League before he moved to the Phillies and Julio Franco's league last summer. Glavine is a mere 41 and, perhaps, the second-oldest player on Franco's team.
Degrees of separation: Glavine and Moyer never have been teammates. Of course, they are linked by other players, most notably Greg Maddux, who broke in with the Cubs less than three months after Moyer did and who was Glavine's teammate with the Braves for 10 seasons, from 1993-2002.
Forty-two other players have played with both Glavine and Moyer.
Tale of the tape
|How Tom Glavine and Jamie Moyer stack up.|
|19 years, 64 days||Service time||18 years, 138 days|
|2||Cy Young Awards||0|
|1||Home runs hit||0|
|Gerald Young||First batter faced||Ron Roenicke|
Mets long man Aaron Sele and Phillies third baseman Wes Helms are the most recent additions to the list. Each became linked last week. The first players to play with Glavine and Moyer were Kevin Blankenship and Jody Davis, who were involved in the same trade Sept. 29, 1988. Blankenship played most of the season with Glavine and the Braves. After the trade to the Cubs, he had one at-bat (Oct. 1). But Davis' first at-bat with the Braves came the previous day.
Links II: Neither Glavine nor Moyer has been accused of being a hard thrower. In that regard, each is linked to Eddie Lopat, the left-handed pitcher who made his mark, softly, with the White Sox and Yankees in the '40s and '50s. He was known as "The Junkman."
The shortest link between Lopat and Glavine includes two other players. One of them, not surprisingly, is Phil Niekro, Glavine's Braves teammate in 1987. Niekro had played with Johnny Blanchard, the old Yankees catcher, in 1965 with the Milwaukee Braves. And Blanchard had played with Lopat in 1955 with the Yankees.
The shortest link connecting Lopat and Moyer also involves a Hall of Famer: Brooks Robinson. Lopat and Robinson played with the Orioles in 1955, Lopat's final season. The link wasn't made for 42 years. But in 1997, Dennis Martinez pitched for the Mariners and with Moyer. Martinez's rookie season, with the Orioles, was 1976. Robinson was in the 22nd year of his 23-year career in '76.
Two other contemporaries participated in pregame ceremonies Wednesday -- Art Garfunkel and Jerry Koosman. One sang the anthem, the other threw out the first pitch.
Both were pretty good in the late '60s. And though Koosman wasn't an accomplished batter, he had more hits than Garfunkel.
Raising funds, awareness: The Mets announced plans on Wednesday for a fifth annual Autism Awareness Day, to be held during their game Sunday, April 22, against Atlanta. The event is designed to raise both funds and awareness for a disease that now affects one out of every 150 children.
"So much of battling diseases like this is raising awareness," said Glavine, who is helping the Mets promote the event in conjunction with CW-11 television. "I think it's a great thing what the Mets are doing. To help promote this day and help promote the awareness of the disease, I'm just happy to be a part of it."
This date in Mets history -- April 12: A week before the Mets played their first game at Shea Stadium, demolition of their first home, the Polo Grounds, began on this date in 1964. ... Opening Day 1965 went as the first three Mets openers had gone: they lost. Don Drysdale pitched a nine-strikeout four-hitter and hit a two-run home run against Al Jackson in the Dodgers' 6-1 victory at Shea. ... Tom Seaver had two run-scoring hits and three RBIs against Steve Carlton in the Mets' 6-4 victory in St. Louis on this date in 1970. ... Seaver pitched a five-hit shutout against the Cardinals at Shea on this date in 1977. He also had a two-run single in the 5-0 victory. ... After a stunning Spring Training performance -- so compelling that Yankees owner George Steinbrenner was prompted to promote Jose Rijo to the big leagues so the Yankees could have a comparable storyline -- Mets rookie Tim Leary pitched two innings in his Major League debut against the Cubs in Wrigley Field on this date in 1981. Leary suffered a pinched nerve in his shoulder and didn't pitch in the big leagues again until late in the 1983 season.
Up next: The Mets will play the Phillies in the finale of a three-game set at Shea, with Glavine and Moyer facing off for the first time in their careers. First pitch is set for 7:10 p.m. ET.