On Tuesday, the Colorado Rockies’ Jamie Moyer, at 49 years 150 days, became the oldest pitcher to win a Major League Baseball game. The previous oldest: the Brooklyn Dodgers’ Jack Quinn at 49 years 70 days on Sept. 13, 1932. Moyer’s win for the ages sent us to the record books, wondering: Who are the oldest players to appear in MLB, NBA, NFL and NHL games?
The oldest player in an MLB game was Satchel Paige, believed to be at least 59 (his age was always something of a mystery) when he pitched three scoreless innings for the Kansas City Athletics on Sept. 25, 1965. Paige, a Negro Leagues legend and an MLB rookie at 42, was signed by the A’s in 1965 for that one game, 12 years after his last full big-league season.
Nat Hickey is credited as the oldest player to appear in an NBA game; he was the 46-year-old coach of the Providence Steam Rollers when he inserted himself into one game in 1948. He scored his only two points on free throws. The NBA’s oldest since then: Kevin Willis was 44 when he played his final game with Dallas in 2007.
The oldest to appear in an NFL game was George Blanda, a Hall of Fame quarterback-kicker who was 48 when he played for the Oakland Raiders in the 1975 AFC title game. He made a field goal and an extra point in that game. The oldest player to score an NFL touchdown? Doug Flutie was 42 years 71 days when he ran for a touchdown in the final game of San Diego’s 2004 regular season.
The oldest player to appear in an NHL game, Gordie Howe, turned 52 during his 32nd and final season in pro hockey, 1979-80. He played in all 80 games for the Hartford Whalers that season, scoring 15 goals with 26 assists and making an NHL all-star team for the 23rd time.
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