On Apr. 13, 1987, at Veterans Stadium in South Philadelphia, young Phillies second baseman Juan Samuel stepped into the batters box to face an even younger Cubs lefty, Jamie Moyer, who was three outs away from a no-hitter. Samuel slapped a single to lead off the inning.
And now, more than 21 years later, they meet again. Moyer is pitching for the Phillies, and Samuel is being honored in an induction into the Phillies wall of fame.
It's remarkable when you think of it. Samuel has been retired 10 years and Moyer is preparing for his 575th major league start. Juan Samuel himself can't believe it.
"It's amazing," Samuel said this week. "He's endured, and he's still throwing the same stuff. It shows that pitching isn't about throwing hard, it's about being smart."
Moyer, who will celebrate his 46th birthday in November isn't ready to call it quits just yet.
"As far as I know, I'm going to play [in 2009]," he said. "There's a lot of baseball left to be played this year, and that's what I need to remain focused on. I have to get through this year healthy. But if I do that, I have all intentions of playing next year."
So far, there are no signs of injury for the soon to be free agent.
And when Moyer saw Samuel Friday he relived that near no-hitter all over again. "It's usually one of the first things that goes through my mind," Moyer said with a smile.
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