Bartolo was briefly a Braves pitcher in 2017. I’ve always enjoyed seeing him pitch. Now I get to see him here in Texas.
On June 27, 2002, Colon was traded from the Cleveland Indians to the Montreal Expos, who fancied themselves contenders for the National League wild card and NL East races despite deficits of 5 and 6.5 games respectively at the end of the day.
Bartolo has bounced around a lot. Of course, the Braves released him in 2018. Here is the list (courtesy of Wikipedia):
- Cleveland Indians (1997–2002)
- Montreal Expos (2002)
- Chicago White Sox (2003)
- Anaheim Angels / Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (2004–2007)
- Boston Red Sox (2008)
- Chicago White Sox (2009)
- New York Yankees (2011)
- Oakland Athletics (2012–2013)
- New York Mets (2014–2016)
- Atlanta Braves (2017)
- Texas Rangers (2018)
Here is a great tribute to him on his 45th birthday.
Bartolo Colon turns 45 today. In honor of his birthday, here are 45 things you need to know about one of the most improbable careers in recent history.
1. He’s 45 years old! But you knew that already since I just mentioned it. You can probably guess that it’s pretty unusual for a 45-year-old to be pitching in the majors. Once he makes his first post-birthday outing, Colon will become just the 16th MLB pitcher since 1900 age 45 or older. How old is he? Gleyber Torres of the Yankees homered twice off him Monday. Torres was 3 months old when Colon made his major league debut in 1997.
2. Colon has 242 wins. That’s a lot of wins! That puts him 55th on the all-time list and 25th since 1950. He’s one win from tying Juan Marichal for the most by a Dominican pitcher and three from tying Dennis Martinez for the most by a Latin American pitcher. The Rangers pitcher, who turns 45 today, has changed quite a bit since breaking into the big leagues with the Indians in 1997.Are the Angels using Ohtani correctly? So far, the planets have aligned for L.A. and its two-way star.The divide between haves and have-nots could be historic. But some teams that tore it down are tearing it up. Others? Not so much.
3. He didn’t play organized baseball until he was 14. In a 2015 profile in the New York Times, Colon said he learned his work ethic from his pet donkey, Pancho, whom he used to ride to the baseball field. Colon later built a training complex for young players in his hometown of El Copey and memorialized Pancho with an illustration on a wall of the complex.
4. Colon signed with the Indians in 1993 for $3,000 — only after he was sent home three times after tryouts with the Indians and told he was too short. The Dodgers and Royals told him the same thing. (So says one profile of Colon; others make no mention of the initial rejections.) When he first signed, the Indians insisted Colon was 18, not 20. His real age was exposed in 2002.
5. With his blazing fastball, Colon rose quickly through the minors, and Baseball America ranked him as the No. 14 prospect heading into his rookie season in 1997. He was squeezed between Scott Rolen (final major league season: 2012) and Derrek Lee (final season: 2011) and was the fourth-best pitching prospect. Ahead of him: Kerry Wood (No. 3), Matt White (No. 4) and Kris Benson (No. 8).