A Pitcher for the Ages
Distinguishing yourself is honestly very hard, regardless of where you are in life, what you do, or how old you might be. This gets even harder when you’re a professional athlete. Careers are short, the price of success is very high and competition dictates that almost no one will be consistently successful. However, there are rare exceptions, and in those cases, they deserve to be fully recognized and given the props they deserve. Such is the case with the Houston Astros’ Justin Verlander.
Verlander threw his 3rd career no-hitter today against the Toronto Blue Jays, the second time he’s done so. For reference, only two pitchers have ever thrown more no-hitters in their careers: Nolan Ryan and Sandy Koufax. Both men are Hall of Famers and are consistently ranked as two of the greatest pitchers in over a century of MLB history. So being mentioned in such illustrious company already puts Verlander in rarified air.
However, this isn’t the biggest reason everyone should be talking about him and his success. The biggest reason is his age. Justin Verlander is 36 years old and has played for 16 seasons. The simple fact that he has been so good over such a prolonged period of time cannot be understated. Sure, a no-hitter is a rare achievement that any pitcher technically can achieve, and his 220 career wins or 2,949 strikeouts might be a better indicator of his superiority, but the fact is that it’s impressive that he still performs at such a high level despite his age.
What’s most impressive might be the fact that, quite simply, he’s not done yet. The way he pitches doesn’t indicate that he’s slowing down or getting close to the end, which only means more nightmares for opposing batters.