On Tuesday night, the Texas Rangers defeated the Seattle Mariners 11-4. It was a big loss for the Mariners in the standings but an enormous win in the history books for Rangers starting pitcher Bartolo Colon. The victory is the 246th of Colon’s big league career, the most ever by a pitcher born in Latin America.
Colon passed “El Presidente,” Dennis Martínez with the victory.
Here are some fun facts about the 22-year major league career of the legendary man known lovingly as “Big Sexy.”
Colon, Martínez and Marichal
- Hall of Famer Juan Marichal won his 243rd and final game on Aug. 11, 1974. Martínez passed Marichal to be on top of the all-time list on Aug. 9, 1998, almost exactly 24 years after Marichal’s final victory and nearly 20 years to the day before Colon passed him.
- In Martínez’s 245th and final victory he pitched in relief for the Atlanta Braves. Current Hall of Famer John Smoltz started that game and Martínez came in to pitch a clean eighth inning. In the top of the ninth, new Hall of Famer Chipper Jones drove in two runs – one of which was Ozzie Guillén – to make Martínez the pitcher of record.
- Three days after Martínez won his final game, Colon won for the 16th time in his big league career.
- Colon, Martínez and “The Dominican Dandy,” Juan Marichal, have won 734 combined games and appeared in 18 combined All-Star Game. However, they have won only one Cy Young Award combined (Colon, 2005).
The beginning of Big Sexy
- Colon made his major league debut on April 4, 1997 against the Anaheim Angels. He struck out Jim Edmonds in the first inning for his first career punchout.
- In his debut, Colon held Hall of Famer Eddie Murray to a stat line of 0-1 with a walk and a ground out. Murray played with Martínez in Baltimore from 1977-86.
- When Colon made his debut, current teammate Rougned Odor was two months and day past his third birthday.
Moving to Montreal
- On June 27, 2002, the Indians traded Colon to Montreal for four players. The deal became infamous in both cities. What was the return Cleveland received? Brandon Phillips (three All-Star games, four Gold Gloves), Grady Sizemore (three All-Star games, two Gold Gloves), Cliff Lee (four All-Star games, 1 Cy Young Award) and Lee Stevens, the only veteran in the deal. He played 53 games in Cleveland.
- During his first season in Montreal, two of Colon’s teammates where Fernando Tatis and Vladimir Guerrero. Their sons, both named after their respective fathers, are now two of the top prospects in baseball with the Padres and Blue Jays organizations, respectively.
Heavenly Move To Anaheim
- In Colon’s first season in Anaheim (2005) he won the Cy Young award. Ervin Santana made his debut for the Angels that season.
- Santana (149) currently ranks third among active Latin American-born starting pitchers in wins behind Colon and Seattle’s Félix Hernández (168).
- Since Santana made his debut, Colon has won 128 games.
The Here and Now
- Only two active pitchers have more strikeouts than Colon: CC Sabathia and Justin Verlander. When Verlander made his MLB debut on the Fourth of July 2005, Colon had already won 129 games.
- Colon is tied with Sabathia for the active lead with 38 complete games. King Félix and Clayton Kershaw are tied for third with 25 each.
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