@SOXNERD BLOG: OLD GUYS RULE!

The latest from the @SoxNerd

Mrs. SoxNerd and I rarely pay face value for any baseball tickets but Friday night we made an exception for one reason:

BARTOLO COLON.

And the old (age 44), fat guy did not disappoint.

Colon went the distance in the Twins 8-4 win over the Rangers before a pulling-for-Bartolo crowd of 22,272 at Target Field in  Minneapolis.

This was vintage late Bart as opposed to early blazing fastball Bart.

Colon was crafty, economical with his pitches (all 106 of them!) and let his defense work for him.

Bart has always been a bit of a legendary figure in my baseball world because of the results he has produced with the 285-pounds his 5-foot-11 frame supports.

His “this is who I am and I don’t care what anyone thinks” attitude just adds to his legend.

If fact, whenever Colon would pitch for the Sox, my co-worker, who was once mocked for his beefy appearance in a Chicago newspaper, would exclaim, “You ever wanted to know what I would look like on a baseball field, it’s right there on the mound.”

The fact that he doesn’t look like he’s expending much energy is also just plain comical to me.

Kudos to Twins manager Paul Molitor, who had two singles in eight at bats in his career vs. Bart, for sticking with the right-hander until the joyous end on Friday night.

When Colon got his 27th out, thanks to a nifty play by first baseman Joe Mauer, he became the oldest Twins pitcher to go to the  distance and the oldest pitcher to do so since 1992.

Friday’s outing also highlights another aspect of baseball I love: In every game, no matter the importance, something incredibly special can happen. It could be so unique it may have happened before or never will happen again.

More on Colon … 

*IS BART THERE? The White Sox were having a difficult time finding Colon during “Big Sexy’s” second stint on the south side in 2009.

Manager Ozzie Guillen found the situation both frustrating and humorous.

“To talk to Colon, you’ve got to talk to 20 different people,” Guillen said. “You got to talk to 30 different cousins, and then to his agent, who talks to his brother, his brother call his wife, his wife say he’s with Pedro, Pedro say he’s with Juan. I guarantee you I’ll call [President Barack] Obama, and we’ll have a talk before Colon answers the phone. Obama will put me on hold for one second.”

*SOX TIME! Colon was 36 when he appeared in the last of his two one-season stints with the White Sox in 2009.

Nothing more than a fifth starter, Colon was 3-9 with a 4.19 ERA in 12 starts for the ’09 Sox in an injury-shortened campaign that ended in July.

His 2004 Sox campaign was more Bart-like: 15-13 with a 3.87 ERA and team-bests in starts (34), innings (242) and batters faced (984).

*OLD SOX CG: The last 40-year old to twirl a complete game for the Sox was 41-year old Danny Darwin, who went nine in a 1-0 loss to Baltimore (a Cal Ripken Jr. RBI) on April 17, 1997 at Comiskey Park.

By the way, Darwin started one game with fellow 40-year old Tony Pena as his batterymate for the Sox that season.

*OLD SOX CG WIN: The last 40-year old to go the distance and win for the Sox was 44-year old Charlie Hough in 1992.

On June 22, the knuckleballer and the Sox bested Boston 7-1 in 2 hours and 20 minutes before 32,967 at Comiskey Park.

That was one of four complete games Hough would throw that season.

*40! The last 40-year old to appear in a game for the White Sox was 44-year old Omar Vizquel in 2011.

*THE FIRSTS: Colon gave up four runs in five innings and survived a first-inning home run by Frank Thomas in winning his first start against the White Sox on Sept. 6, 1997 in Cleveland.

Eight days later, Colon yielded two runs in six innings in getting a no decision in his first start vs. the Sox in Chicago.

An eight-run Indians outburst, highlighted by Jim Thome’s 40th homer (off Al Levine) took Colon off the hook.

*THE LAST: Colon’s last appearance vs. the Sox was a five-hit complete game shutout for Oakland on May 31, 2013.

That upped Colon’s record to 11-8 and dipped his ERA to 3.81 in 23 career outings (all starts) vs. the Sox.

That 2013 gem may not be his final outing vs. the Sox. The Twins invade Chicago for a five-game set beginning Aug. 21.

See you then, Bart!

Note: Old guys and Baseball Reference rules!

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