Hard to believe the Cubs had Jamie (the Energizer Bunny has nothing over this guy!) not once but twice. No games were pitched the second time and was released in March of 1992. All of our Friday excerpts are from Carrie Muskatís compilation Banks to Sandberg to Grace. Moyer begins with the day he and Dave Martinez were called up from Iowa. It is June, 1986.
We were late but it was the first flight we could get out. We walk up to the gate and they say ìWhat are you guys doing?î
ìCan you tell us how to get in the clubhouse?î
ìWell, I canít let you in.î
ìWe were just called up from Des Moines.î
ìWell, who are you?î
ìDave Martinez and Jamie Moyer.î
ìWell, I canít let you in. Nobody said you could come in.î
So we finally talked our way in and unloaded the cab and just set our bags in the parking lot. We get inside and guys were out on the field. I got dressed quickly and went out on the field and didnít get much done.
We went back in the clubhouse, and one of the first memories I have of being on the team was going out for the national anthem ñ I was late ñ and we had to be in the dugout at a certain time. So Iím standing there, and I took my hat off and put it over my heart, and my hand is just quivering. And Leon Durham was standing beside me, and in the middle of the national anthem he goes, ìDonít worry kid, weíve all been that way.î It was just like a ton of bricks fell off my shoulders. Thatís a fond memory I have of him saying that.
I donít recall the date, but I know it was my first start in Chicago against what Iíll call my boyhood idol, Steve Carlton. I grew up outside Philadelphia, so I grew up watching the Phillies, not necessarily liking the Phillies. I didnít have a favorite baseball team as a young kid. I found it too boring to watch. I was hyperactive.
It was a pretty neat situation. It was my first major league start, first time being in the major leagues. I had never been to Chicago, I had never been to Wrigley Field and really had no expectations on getting to the big leagues. It all happened so quick. I donít think I grasped or understood where I was or what I was doing. Being able to pitch at Wrigley Field was pretty awesome , but also being able to pitch against my idol I think was then ultimate.
I came out of the game with a lead and we hung on and won the game, so it was a great day. I was able to have my first major league start and win it, and on the other side of the field beat Steve Carlton, so it was a very, very memorable day.
I think the biggest thing is, Iíve always believed I could pitch. I donít think I had the success that I would have liked to have had when I ws here, but I was a young kid ñ and thatís not an excuse, but I was feeling my way through it. After I had a couple yearsí experience, I believed that I could pitch.
When the Cubs did release me the second time, they offered me a coaching job. I was 29 and felt I could coach the rest of my life, but I still believed that I could pitch. Itís just being in the right situation and getting the right opportunities. Did I know I was going to get that? I did not know. But deep down, I really believed that I could still pitch and thatís what kept me going.