Bartolo Colon's complete game win puts him in company with Nolan Ryan

Bartolo Colon never ceases to amaze us, and we sincerely hope that never changes. The ageless wonder was at it again on Friday night, tossing a complete game to earn his first Minnesota Twins win as they topped the Texas Rangers 8-4.

It wasn’t a prototypical complete game, but it was significant. At 44 years and 72 days old, Colon became the oldest pitcher to record a nine-inning complete game since Jamie Moyer did it at the age of 47 in 2010. He also became the oldest pitcher to throw a complete game in Minnesota Twins franchise history. Beyond that, he became the oldest pitcher in the American League to go the distance and win since Nolan Ryan back on July 4, 1992.

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Ryan was 45 at the time, yet still managed to strike out 13 Yankees in a dominant performance.

Truth be told, Ryan’s performance told the story of his career quite well. The all-time strikeout leader was every bit of that as he went the distance on that Independence Day.

Bartolo Colon became the oldest pitcher in Minnesota Twins history to throw a complete game. (AP)

As for Colon, his complete game Friday night told the story of his career pretty well too. It was all about perseverance and survival as the Rangers appeared to have him on the ropes more than once.



Not many complete games have started in that manner, but Colon was able to survive and advance. The same could be said in the third inning, when the Rangers added another run on Nomar Mazara’s RBI single. Colon survived and advanced again, and proceeded to earn the trust of manager Paul Molitor with each efficiently posted zero that followed.

It all led to a dramatic ninth inning. Colon entered the frame with a manageable 96 pitches and didn’t look any worse for the wear. Even when Carlos Gomez launched a two-out home run, Molitor didn’t budge from the dugout. He put his trust in Colon, and the veteran responded by recording the final out with a little help from Joe Mauer.

Here’s an interesting sidebar on that home run too: It was the first Colon has allowed at Target Field, meaning he’s allowed a home run in 43 different ballparks over his career. That’s tied with Jamie Moyer for the most in MLB history.

Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Bartolo Colon is doused by teammates after throwing a complete baseball game against the Rangers. (AP)

The complete game was Colon’s first since Sept. 5, 2015, when he tossed a nine-hit shutout against the Miami Marlins while pitching for the New York Mets, and his 37th overall over a career that now spans 20 seasons.

In the process, Colon picked up career win No. 236, which moves him within seven of Hall of Famer Juan Marichal for the most by a Dominican-born pitcher. Given his effectiveness on Friday night, Colon may have enough left in the tank yet to get there.

By now we should all know better than to doubt him, that’s for sure. We should just be thankful for every opportunity we have to watch him as he continues defying the odds and competing with his unparalleled passion.

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!