Yesterday, the Texas Rangers defeated the Seattle Mariners by a score of 11-4, giving Bartolo Colon the 246th win of his career. With this win, Bartolo became the winningest Latin American pitcher in the history of Major League Baseball, surpassing Dennis Martinez in the process.
“It was a long journey, but it finally came,” said Colon. “And it feels good.”
Congrats Bartolo Colón! ? ?? pic.twitter.com/yhpAdO1yr4
— New York Mets (@Mets) August 8, 2018
Rangers manager Jeff Banister expressed his pleasure and admiration for being given the opportunity to coach Big Sexy following this milestone:
“It’s pretty incredible to watch, to be part of. I got to watch Bartolo in 1995 when he was a young guy with a blazing fastball that just wiped everybody out. Watched him throughout his career, been part of teams that have faced him. To be fortunate enough and blessed enough to be his manager for a period of time, to sit and watch, and to know what he means to a group of guys inside that clubhouse, number of teammates along the way. … They’re probably saluting and maybe even tipping a glass to him in congratulations.”
This incredible honor may belong to Colon, but he couldn’t have done it without the run support from his teammates. “I give thanks to my teammates because after the fourth inning, I was feeling better, a lot better,” Colon said. “They scored a lot of runs for me, so I thank God, thank my teammates, as always, because they did a lot of run support.”
Whats next for Bartolo? Well, he has his sights set on being the Latin American leader in total innings pitched as well. “There is one thing that I’ll look for: Juan Marichal has more innings than me [3,507], and for Dominicans, I want to beat him also,” said Colon, who has pitched 3,445 2/3 innings in his 20+ year career. “It’s about 50 innings that I have left.”
Bartolo has been a professional baseball player for a very long time. In fact, he signed his first contract with the Cleveland Indians the same year that Bill Clinton first took office as the President of the United States of America.
His list of accomplishments since then is extensive. He is a four-time All-Star, a former CY Young Award winner, and has led the American League in wins. His control over his pitches has also led him to have the lowest balls per nine innings ratio twice in the Nationa League.
Despite this laundry list of achievements, none of them warm your heart more than his first career home run that came with the New York Mets at age 42.
The impossible happened two years ago today, when the great Bartolo Colon hit his first and only MLB home run, which, at 42 years old, stands to be the oldest player ever to hit their first home run. I’m happy it was in a #Mets uniform! #LGM pic.twitter.com/wzIgfqSQmw
— MetsAvenue (@MetsAvenue) May 7, 2018