Masahiro Yamamoto will turn 50 next year while pitching in Japan
A pitcher in NPB will turn 50 next season for the Chunichi Dragons.
Pitcher Masahiro Yamamoto has renewed his contract with the Chunichi Dragons of Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB, which is Japan's top league) for next season, the club announced Thursday (via wsj.com).
This is newsworthy here because Yamamoto is 49 years old and turns 50 next August. Call him the Japanese version of Jamie Moyer, though Moyer never made it to age 50 as an active player.
Yamamoto is 219-165 with a 3.45 ERA and 1.22 WHIP in his NPB career. He's worked 3,347 1/3 innings in 579 career appearances. It's a career that began with one appearance all the way back in 1986. He has played the entirety of his NPB career with the Dragons, too.
This past season, Yamamoto set the NPB record for the oldest pitcher to ever win a game at 49 years and 25 days old. The MLB record is Moyer at 49 years and 150 days. Like Moyer, Yamamoto is also a lefty.
While we're here and partially just for fun, here are the oldest players to ever appear in MLB (we'll go with their age in their final game):
1. Satchel Paige, 59 years, 80 days; 1955
2. Charley O'Leary, 58 years, 350 days; 1934
3. Nick Altrock, 57 years, 16 days; 1933
4. Minnie Minoso, 54 years, 311 days; 1980
5. Jim O'Rourke, 54 years, 21 days; 1904
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