Bartolo Colon MLB Legend

The story of an immortal


Arturo Pardavila III

Bartolo Colon looks wistfully at a reporter

By Reid Pitts, Staff Writer, Staff Photographer

Hundreds of players play in the MLB every season. Thousands cycle through the minor league systems; many attempt to succeed at a craft only few can truly master. While most players enter and exit with a feint trail following behind,there are some who leave with glory. Yet, there is only one man who has achieved immortality. His name is Bartolo Colon.

Bartolo Colon was born in Altamira, Dominican Republic on May 24, 1973. As a child, he would build arm strength by throwing rocks at coconuts. Bartolo would harvest coffee beans every day and rode his donkey to play baseball with friends.

He was signed by the Cleveland Indians to a minor league deal in 1993. Little did the Indians know, they had just signed a legend, Big Sexy himself.

Bartolo’s major league debut was on April 4, 1997 where he threw 5 innings with 6 hits, 4 runs, 3 walks and 4 strikeouts.  Colon finished his debut season with a 4-7 record and a 5.65 ERA (Earned Run Average.)

Over the next three seasons, Bartolo pitched a complete game in the 1998 ALCS (American League Championship Series) and secured a post season win for the Indians.In the same season, Colon made his way to his first all star game. In another game in 1998, Colon set an unofficial MLB record for most pitches thrown in an at bat (20.)  In 1999, Colon went 18-5 with 161 strikeouts and a 3.95 ERA and in 2000, he hurled a one-hitter while playing the New York Yankees.

After the Indians, Bartolo went to the now defunct Montreal Expos and is now the only active MLB player to played for the Expos. Bartolo then played for the White Sox for the 2003 season.

For the 2004 season, Bartolo signed with the Anaheim Angels. He went on to collect 18 wins that season. In 2005, Colon achieved a 21-8 record with a 3.48 ERA and won a Cy Young Award, a prestigious award for the pitcher with the highest performance of that season, and his second all star award. In 2006, Colon went onto the disabled list for the 2006 season and had 10 under performing starts, going 1-5 with a 5.11 ERA. In 2007, Bartolo looked like a lesser image of himself, posting a 6-8 record.

Bartolo joined the Red Sox in 2008, where he earned his 150th career win on May 21, 2008 agains the Baltimore Orioles. Bartolo then, being the legend his is, left for the Dominican Republic during the same season. He missed the post season and filed for free agency following the 2008 season.

From the 2009 season to the 2011 season, Colon hurled for the White Sox and the Yankees (unfortunately.) Bartolo was out for the 2010 season with a shoulder injury and spent his time before the 2011 season pitching in the Pre-World  Championship in Puerto Rico. Bartolo returned for the 2011 season with the Yankees but recieved a short-term hamstring injury. A game on July 14th against the Toronto Blue Jays gave Bartolo his shortest outing, giving up eight runs on two outs in the first inning.

Bartolo played for the Oakland Athletics for the 2011, 2012 and 2013 season. On April 18th 2011, Bartolo threw 38 consecutive strikes, the most since 1988. On August 22, 2012, Bartolo tested positive for synthetic testosterone and was suspended. In 2013, Bartolo was elected to his third All-star game after earning an 11-3 record with a 2.27 ERA in July.

The 2014-16 seasons were probably Bartolo’s most memorable. Playing for the Mets, Bartolo earned the nickname “Big Sexy.” on June 18th, Bartolo achieved his first hit in nine years. He earned his 200th win on August 8th, 2014. Opening the 2015 for the Mets, Bartolo became the 3rd opening day starter in history over 40 years old. In the 2015 World Series, his second since his rookie year, Bartolo lost game 1, through relief work, and subsequently became the oldest player to ever lose a World Series game. In 2016, Bartolo became the oldest active player in the MLB, 42 years old. On May 7th, Bartolo achieved immortality. At 42 years of age, becoming the oldest player to do so, Bartolo hit his FIRST career home run. The excitement of his teammates, fans and even the announcers was immense. Trotting around the bases, Bartolo knew he had become a legend.

Bartolo went to his fourth All-star game in 2016 and drew a walk after 281 plate appearances. This man is so enshrined in glory, that even a walk awards his with immense praise On October 1st, he reached 500 career starts.

During his tenure with the Mets, Bartolo and his wife became US citizens and was sued by his supposed baby mama for child support. A negative mark on an otherwise exemplary man.

2017 marked the end of Batrolo’s Mets campaign, as Bartolo signed a one year, $12.5 million contract with the Atlanta Braves. He drastically under performed, with a 2-8 record before his release of July 4th. On July 7th, Bartolo signed with the Minnesota Twins. Bartolo threw a complete game on August 4th, becoming the oldest to do so, 44. Finally, in August, Bartolo became 18th pitcher to beat all 30 MLB teams.

Bartolo Colon has had an exemplary career. He has won the hearts of countless teammates and fans alike. Big Sexy will forever be enshrined in glory.

Long live Bartolo Colon.