Jamie Moyer was asked to give a commencement speech at Immaculata this weekend, which he did. However, some earlier speech notes indicate he was going to take the bull by the horns and beat the haters to the clichés he’s mostly known for – being old and throwing the ball very softly.
Using that classic Jamie Moyer delivery, it’s safe to say he would have killed it.
Greetings, Fightin’ Jesuses. [NOTE: Find out actual nickname of school]
You know, a lot of people would tell you that it’s a rough time for recent grads out there. A lot of people would say a college degree is worth about as much as a 50 mph fastball to the face. Sure, it gets you on base. But you still have to score.
And scoring is what life is all about. No, not the in highly sexual way of sex-having that “scoring” is used with you college kids. I’m talking about reaching your full potential. And that’s hard to do in this economy. It’s like a 50 mph fastball out there. [NOTE: Remember to come up with a reason how it is like that.]
But I’m here to tell you there’s hope. Because if you can throw a baseball 50 mph, you could have a job in professional baseball.
You know when I was a kid, I’d wake up on the wagon train headed to Oregon, and be like “Is the Civil War over yet? I’d like to fry up some dinosaur meat for lunch.”
And my parents would be like, [NOTE: Speak with English accent] “No, not yet. Also, we all have the plague.”
[NOTE: Remember to pause for laughter when necessary.]
We’re joking around here, but what I’m saying is the odds were stacked against me, too.
But I knew that life was about more than throwing a fastball 100 mph. You can throw it 90 mph, 80 mph, 70 mph; whatever suits you. And you can still be a success for some reason. I mean, look at me. I throw the weakest fastball in history and I played a professional sport until I was 50, after repeatedly impregnating Digger Phelps’ daughter. I’d say I’m doing pretty well.
Neigh-sayers and bullies are a part of life. Along the way, they’ll be plenty of them. “Hey, you need a wheelchair, old man?” they’ll yell. “I’ll bet you got a head full of dust. Hey, how was that dinosaur meat you had to eat as a kid. And hey, I’ll bet that the miles per hour of your fastball is the same amount of years ago you were born.”
And sometimes you’ll be tempted to say, “Why don’t you just leave me alone, Chipper Jones.” But some people are so classless and awful that they need your sadness to continue feasting on the negative emotions that keep them alive. Sometimes, they’ll call your house late at night just to make jerk comments, or follow you and your family to the zoo to make comments like, “I’ll take your fastball deep just like your dad took your mom deep, 110 years ago.”
And it’s terrible. But you just have to suck it up and tell your kids that that man has deep, bad problems. Because he does.
And that’s the kind of things that await you out in the real world. It can be scary without having the support of an institution, or a walker, because you’re old. But that’s the way the world works: It’s a big, scary place, that requires you to grow up and throw your best fastball, even if it’s 50 mph.
Or also, you could become really good at something unrelated to college, and then a college will just give you a degree because they like you. That happens sometimes, too.
But above all else, never quit. The best way to never quit is to always show up, no matter what people say, whether it’s “You’ll never make it,” or “Oh, were you serious about coming to spring training? All right, go over there.” Showing up is how I reached some of my most-quoted career accolades.
I’ll end with a quick story.
I once pitched in the World Series, and won. It was great. But you know what? It wasn’t so great. I threw a terrific game, but at what cost? The diarrhea I was suffering at the time was so copious, I ruined two pillows.
“He ruined two pillows,” my wife actually said in public, to the media.
Sure, the Phillies and I were one win closer to our World Series rings. But I had destroyed two entire sets of sheets. Where were we supposed to get more sheets? K-Mart? It was three in the morning! And that stomach virus wasn’t going anywhere. Except onto more sheets.
What I’m saying is, life can be hard and gross. But if you are a good person and turn a deaf ear to the Chipper Joneses of the world, you won’t be blinded by the diarrhea of your life. You’ll be able to look down and see the World Series ring of success on your finger. And then you can dream about the imprint that ring would leave on Chipper Jones’ face after throwing it at him at 50 mph.
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