Gentile: R.A. Dickey and peaking at age 37

From James Gentile at Beyond the Box Score on July 19, 2012:

After a pair of consecutive one-hit shutouts, becoming a best-selling author, and very nearly being selected as the NL’s starting pitcher in the All-Star Game, Mets’ ace R.A. Dickey is having the time of his life in 2012. And despite receiving a veritable beat-down in Atlanta last Saturday afternoon, Dickey’s ERA+ is still a sparkling 141 on the season per Baseball-Reference. What is especially remarkable about all this is that Dickey is having the best season of his career at age 37.

To get an idea of how rare it is for a pitcher to peak so late in his career I’ve queried the Lahman database for a list of pitchers who achieved their best ERA+ performance in their age-37 season or later (min 150IP).


Of the pitchers that managed an ERA+ of at least 130, Roger Clemens’ eerie display of super-human ability at age 42 is clearly the best of the group as well as the most recent. Throwing over 200 innings with an ERA so far below the league average at 42 years of age seems nearly inconceivable, but it most certainly happened and it really wasn’t that long ago.

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Originally published: July 20, 2012. Last Updated: July 20, 2012.