Last year, at age 49, Jamie Moyer became the oldest pitcher in Major League Baseball to win a game. Just Tell Me I Can't: How Jamie Moyer Defied the Radar Gun and Defeated Time, co-written with Larry Platt, is an inspirational investigation into the craft of pitching.
How did this collaboration begin?
Platt: We met at a Phillies Alumni Weekend after Jamie’s injury in 2010. I saw a craftsman talking about his craft all night and we began to consider a book about what pitching could be, and a travelogue of critical points of challenge. It would be in my voice, thus removing the need for writing in the first person.
What is the book’s message?
Platt: There were times Jamie would say, “Remember, this is not just a baseball book.” It was not to be focused on results, but the integrity of the process.
Who do you envision reading the book?
Moyer: The fans, but I hope players, especially young players, will want to read it and learn from it.
Harvey Dorfman is a central figure in the book.
Moyer: I met him when I was at a crossroads in my career. Harvey was a special person, a good listener, a good educator. He had a way of getting across how to become who you are and how not to be derailed. It’s mental preparation—not so much getting inside pitching as learning to focus on the task at hand.
Platt: Although I didn’t have a chance to meet him, I found him fascinating, a great character. Jamie believes Harvey rescued his career and changed his thinking.
What was Harvey’s greatest lesson?
Moyer: That we all have fears, although we don’t usually like to talk about them. You don’t want to lose or give up the hit. He said to take the energy put into your fears and make it a positive force in your career and in your life. I worked at that on a daily basis.
Jamie, you help children in distress through Moyer Foundation. What has this work meant to you?
It allows me to keep my career in perspective. It’s a humbling experience, a great balancer to learn about others’ problems, especially children’s.