In the already legendary career of Bartolo Colon, why wouldn’t he be the last Expo left?
- This shouldn’t be too surprising.
- You know me and what I am going to say next, right? Oh yeah ….
I know, I know … that’s what I always say, but quite honestly this is a miraculous thing. I mean it’s miraculous that he’s still dominant at 42. It’s miraculous that he’s still playing at 42. It’s insane that he had eight hits for the New York Mets last season at age 41 (and having always been on the chubby side) – a couple were actually doubles! I mean does it get better than that?
Well, kind of. It’s not exactly an award or anything and it’s also not exactly the “happiest” of my boy Bart’s many, many accomplishments but Colon is the last Montreal Expo still playing baseball today. He played for the team in 2002. Like the majority of Colon’s seasons he pitched well going 10-4 in 17 starts, throwing four complete games, one of which was a shut out, and posting a 3.31 ERA. He was just 29 years old.
Another player who I always took a liking to, even if it was simply because of his name, Maicer Izturis (see when his name is announced my mom and I always thought it sounded like they were saying “My sign is Taurus.” – No, he isn’t actually a Taurus, he’s a Virgo actually), debuted for the Expos in August 2004. He and Colon were the final two former Montreal Expos still in the game today.
Friday, after 11 years in the big leagues, Izturis announced his retirement. He was just 35 years old. Thus he leaves Colon as the final player remaining in the majors who once played for the Montreal Expos. Of course there are a couple Expos prospects still at large in the bigs but they never actually played for the big league team. The Expos remained a team through 2004 and then moved on to become the Washington Nationals (the people of Montreal really want their team back, in case you were wondering but that isn’t part of this story).
Three seasons after his single season in Montreal, Colon became a Cy Young Award winner with the Los Angeles Angels at the age of 32 in 2005. It was something that I believe should have happened again in 2013 after an amazing 40-year-old season with the Oakland Athletics. It was a year in which he finished second in the American League in both ERA and wins.
Yet win counts usually seem to take preference in Cy Young Award voting and Max Scherzer, then of the Detroit Tigers, won 21 games to Bartolo’s 18, taking home the award in 2013. Another Tiger by the name of Anibal Sanchez barely beat him out in ERA finishing the season with at 2.57 to Bartolo’s 2.65.
For him to still be playing as well at age 40 as he was at 29 or 32 makes Colon an ageless wonder that is perplexing to everyone around baseball. He’s always smiling and loves the game. I saw this written on MLB.com’s Cut4 and it’s basically the truth –
“We’re actually pretty sure he’ll outlast all of us. When civilization has crumbled and the world is unrecognizable, there will still be Bartolo Colon, just having the best time.”
It’s true – he’ll likely outlast us all. Being the last Montreal Expo is just another milestone that makes Bartolo’s career that much more interesting. Plus how can you not love this face?