When you look in the dugout between innings, Jamie Moyer is often talking with another member of the Phillies pitching staff. They're not talking about dinner plans or their families, it's class time; Jamie Moyer regularly holds court with younger pitchers, teaching them about the game.
Cole Hamels is perhaps Moyer's best student. Even now that Hamels has established himself as a top of the rotation pitcher, the two are close friends and Hamels continues to seek out Moyer's guidance.
Now, you can count Chan Ho Park among Moyer's understudies. In what is possibly the most important spring training of his career, Park is fighting for a spot in the Phillies rotation and is up against some pretty stiff and much younger competition.
In his latest effort, Park threw four innings, allowing just three hits and one earned run against the Blue Jays. It's likely no coincidence that his success came a couple days after talking with Moyer during a bullpen session. It was that opportunity that Moyer took to show Park different grips for his change-up and Park immediately put them into his repertoire against Toronto.
With his outing last night, Park may now hold the edge in the battle for the final spot in the Phillies rotation. Park now has a 2.57 ERA in his two outings this season and has struck out five hitters in seven innings of work, while not walking a batter. Park's change-up was impressive against Toronto and goes down as just the latest in a string of pitchers that Moyer has helped simply by offering simple adjustments.
This weekend, Moyer will be making yet another contribution to Philadelphia baseball, but this time to one of the team's fans. Nine year old Anthony Salvino of Souderton, Pennsylvania will be in Florida to see the Phillies play and spend some quality time with Jamie Moyer, his favorite player. Moyer and Salvino share the bond of being from the same hometown and also attending the same elementary school.
The similarities end there though, since Moyer is a healthy athlete and Salvino is battling cancer. The visit was set up through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, giving Salvino the thrill of a lifetime.
Moyer taking time out to meet with Salvino should come as no surprise. Back in 2002, Moyer started his own charity to help children get over the loss of a loved one. Camp Erin will be in 18 states by the end of the year and provides weekend trips for kids to spend time with other children who have suffered losses in their lives. It's all free for the children's families and has been credited with helping hundreds of children.
Whether he's on the mound, hanging out with other pitchers or reaching out to kids in need, it's easy to see the impact that Moyer has had not just on the Phillies and some of their multi-millionaire players, but on kids who truly need help at one of the lowest times in their lives.