StaTuesday: At 44, Twins pitcher Bartolo Colon just keeps going

BY Ryan Lund • July 25, 2017

Somehow, Bartolo Colon keeps chugging along.

Seemingly fueled by the memes his 5-foot-11, 285-pound frame has inspired, the man they call "Big Sexy" has parlayed his masterful command and infinitely GIF-able performances into folk hero status.

He retired promising Los Angeles Dodgers youngster Cody Bellinger twice Monday night, 17 years after striking out the 22-year-old's father, former New York Yankees utility man Clay Bellinger.

The elder Bellinger, now 48, has two sons, Cody, who is in the midst of a stellar rookie season for the Dodgers, and Cole, who was drafted by the San Diego Padres earlier this year.

Colon, now 44, is still pitching.

He's one of just a handful of pitchers in major-league history to start past 44, and the first since 2012, when 49-year-old Jamie Moyer started 10 games for the Colorado Rockies.

Randy Johnson, Nolan Ryan, Tommy John; it's quite the list.




































































































































































































































































































































































Player Year Age G W-L IP BB K ERA
Bartolo Colon 2017 44 15 2-9 72 20 47 8.00
Jamie Moyer 2012 49 10 2-5 53.2 18 36 5.70
Tim Wakefield 2011 44 33 7-8 154.2 47 93 5.12
Jamie Moyer 2010 47 19 9-9 111.2 20 63 4.84
Randy Johnson 2009 45 22 8-6 96 31 86 4.88
Jamie Moyer 2009 46 30 12-10 162 43 94 4.94
Randy Johnson 2008 44 30 11-10 184 44 173 3.91
Jamie Moyer 2008 45 33 16-7 196.1 62 123 3.71
Roger Clemens 2007 44 18 6-6 99 31 68 4.18
David Wells 2007 44 29 9-9 157.1 42 82 5.43
Jamie Moyer 2007 44 33 14-12 199.1 66 133 5.01
Charlie Hough 1994 46 21 5-9 113.2 52 65 5.15
Nolan Ryan 1993 46 13 5-5 66.1 40 46 4.88
Charlie Hough 1993 45 34 9-16 204.1 71 126 4.27
Nolan Ryan 1992 45 27 5-9 157.1 69 157 3.72
Charlie Hough 1992 44 27 7-12 176.1 66 76 3.93
Nolan Ryan 1991 44 27 12-6 173 72 203 2.91
Tommy John 1989 46 10 2-7 63.2 22 18 5.80
Tommy John 1988 45 35 9-8 176.1 46 81 4.49
Tommy John 1987 44 33 13-6 187.2 47 63 4.03
Phil Niekro 1987 48 26 7-13 138.2 66 64 6.30
Phil Niekro 1986 47 34 11-11 210.1 95 81 4.32
Phil Niekro 1985 46 33 16-12 220 120 149 4.09
Phil Niekro 1984 45 32 16-8 215.2 76 136 3.09
Gaylord Perry 1983 44 30 7-14 186.1 49 82 4.64
Phil Niekro 1983 44 34 11-10 201.2 105 128 3.97
Warren Spahn 1965 44 36 7-16 197.2 56 90 4.01
Satchel Paige 1965 58 1 0-0 3 0 1 0.00
Ted Lyons 1946 45 5 1-4 42.2 9 10 2.32
Jack Quinn 1928 44 31 18-7 211.1 34 43 2.90
Cy Young 1911 44 18 7-9 126.1 28 55 3.78



*minimum 60 percent of games started

And while his tenure with the Twins will ultimately account for a small portion of his 20-year career, Colon is already the oldest starting pitcher in Minnesota Twins history by a comfortable margin.

He's one of just seven Twins hurlers to pitch into their 40s, and the first in more than a decade to make it that far. Colon still has a ways to go to catch Jesse Orosco, however, who finished off his 24-year major-league career in a brief stint with Minnesota at age 46.


















































































































Player Year Age G W-L IP BB K ERA
Bartolo Colon 2017 44 2 0-1 9 0 5 7.00
Terry Mulholland 2005 42 49 0-2 59 17 18 4.27
Terry Mulholland 2004 41 39 5-9 123.1 33 60 5.18
Jesse Orosco 2003 46 8 1-1 4.2 5 3 5.79
Steve Carlton 1988 43 4 0-1 9.2 5 5 16.76
Joe Niekro 1988 43 5 1-1 11.2 9 7 10.03
Steve Carlton 1987 42 9 1-5 43 23 20 6.70
Joe Niekro 1987 42 19 4-9 96.1 45 54 6.26
Al Worthington 1969 40 46 4-1 61 20 51 4.57



Left-hander Terry Mulholland was the last Twins pitcher to pitch for the team in his 40s, spending two of his 20 major-league seasons with the Twins. Mulholland was used exclusively in relief in 2005, but 15 of his 39 appearances in 2004 were as a starter.

Mulholland rode off into the sunset at 43 years old.

Colon turned 43 last year, 10 years after Mulholland retired as a seventh-inning setup man for a listless Arizona Diamondbacks squad. Colon pitched in the All-Star Game in 2016, finishing the year with a 3.43 ERA.

Pitchers make up the bulk of the Twins' 40-plus list, but they've had a few super-veteran position players too.




























































































































Player Year Age G PA H HR RBI BB BA
Jim Thome 2011 40 71 242 50 12 40 35 .243
Ruben Sierra 2006 40 14 33 5 0 4 4 .179
Pat Borders 2004 41 19 44 12 0 5 0 .286
Paul Molitor 1998 41 126 559 141 4 69 45 .281
Paul Molitor 1997 40 135 597 164 10 89 45 .305
Dave Winfield 1994 42 77 328 74 10 43 31 .252
Dave Winfield 1993 41 143 594 148 21 76 45 .271
Jim Dwyer 1990 40 37 75 12 1 5 12 .190
Elmer Valo 1961 40 33 36 5 0 4 3 .156



Designated hitter Jim Thome is the most recent addition after joining the club in 2011, when he hit 12 home runs and drove in 40 runs in 71 games.

Manager Paul Molitor makes the list twice after playing his age-40 and age-41 seasons in Minnesota, and hitting .305 then .281 to close out his major-league career.

The record, however, goes to Minnesota native Dave Winfield, who returned to his hometown after his sixth Silver Slugger season.

Winfield spent two seasons with the Twins, turning 42 before closing out his Hall of Fame career with a brief stint in Cleveland.


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