Bartolo Colon is one of the most fascinating athletes in the world.
The 45-year-old pitcher weighs in at 285 pounds and is in his 21st MLB season, the first of which with the Texas Rangers.
Although his 6-10 record and 5.18 ERA are generally unappealing numbers, Colon is doing exactly what the Rangers signed him to do: eat up innings.
Through 21 starts, Colon has thrown 130.1 frames and now has logged an astounding 3,445.2 innings in his career, the most of any active pitcher. He’s also the active leader in career wins, having recorded his 246th career victory on Tuesday against the Seattle Mariners.
With that win, he also broke Dennis Martinez’s record for the most wins in MLB history by a Latin American.
However, he has his eye on one more mark: Hall of Famer (and fellow Dominican) Juan Marichal’s innings record.
His ultimate goal
“This year is almost getting close to the end. But there is one thing that I will look for, is Juan Marichal has more innings than me," Colon said through an interpreter, per the Associated Press. "For the Dominicans, I want to beat him also.”
He needs to throw 61.2 more innings to pass Marichal on that list, which suggests that he may have his sights set on playing another season, since there’s virtually no chance that he’d be able to do so this season since he's slated to start around seven or eight more games if he stays in the rotation.
Marichal pitched 3,507 innings in 471 games over 16 years. Colon has thrown 3,445.2 innings in 560 games over 21 years. Therefore, although Marichal was a far superior talent (as indicated by his Hall of Fame status), Colon still wants to see his name above him in another statistical category.
Rangers manager Jeff Banister made a note about how rare it will be for another pitcher to reach 250 wins, a benchmark that Colon could presumably eclipse this season.
"The pretty remarkable thing about 246 [wins], we've been talking about all morning, there's a couple guys with outside shots," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "If Bart got to 250, he could be the last to get to 250. That would be the crazy thing about it. … He loves the game. … He loves to play, which is pretty refreshing. And we know it.”
Judging by his career 4.09 ERA, Colon is no guarantee to become a Hall of Famer. But, he’s clearly become a crowd-favorite due to his easygoing nature, physical stature and incredible longevity. He may never retire, but if he does, he will most likely finish atop numerous cumulative statistical categories.