Raul Ibanez’s great start to the 2009 season has a lot of players wondering if he is using PED’s (performance enhancing drugs). Most believe accusing Raul Ibanez of PED’s use his age as the reason why. How can I player be this good at the age of 37? I know a lot of people are suspicious of players in their late 30’s after Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens’ old age heroics were diminished by steroids but there have actually been many examples of baseball players succeeding in their late 30s.
Players that Have Succeeded in the Later 30’s: Carlos Delgado
Carlos Delgado turned 37 this season and has been injured, and maybe that’s why some find it strange that Raul Ibanez is not having any injury problems, but just last season Delgado belted 38 home runs and 115 RBI at the age of 36 years old.
Players that Have Succeeded in the Later 30’s: Derek Lowe
Derek Lowe is currently 36 years old and is still playing pretty well. In 2009 Lowe is 7 – 3 for the Atlanta Braves and has a 3.44 ERA and 1.18 WHIP. Derek Lowe doesn’t look like he’s slowing down yet and the Braves gave him a four year deal.
Players that Have Succeeded in the Later 30’s: Greg Maddux
Greg Maddux ended his career with 355 wins. Maddux wasn’t as impressive in his late 30’s as his late 20’s and early 30’s but he still notched 16 wins when he was 36, 37 and 38 years old, 13 wins when he was 39, 15 wins when he was 40 years old and 14 wins when he was 41 years old.
Players that Have Succeeded in the Later 30’s: Hank Aaron
So what if Raul Ibanez has his biggest home run total at the age of 37 years old? The real home run king did the same thing. Hank Aaron was 37 years old when he hit a career high 47 home runs. Hank Aaron also had 118 RBI that season and lead the league in slugging and OPS.
Players that Have Succeeded in the Later 30’s: Willie Stargell
Willie Stargell is in the top 50 all time in home runs in RBI. Stargell was a 7 time all-star and got votes in the MVP race 11 times. The only MVP he won was in 1979. Stargell was 38 years old.
Players that Have Succeeded in the Later 30’s: Nolan Ryan
From age 36 to age 39 Nolan Ryan had 48 wins and his ERA was somewhere between 2.98 and 3.80. Forget about his 30’s though, Nolan Ryan pitched his 7th and final no hitter at the age of 44.
Players that Have Succeeded in the Later 30’s: Randy Johnson
Steroids might have ruined Roger Clemens late years but we haven’t seen any reason to think Randy Johnson used steroids. Randy Johnson won four of his five Cy Young Awards in consecutive years. They were when he was 35, 36, 37 and 38 years old. Randy Johnson’s best year of the four came at the age of 38 when he went 24 – 5 with a 2.32 ERA and 334 strikeouts.
Players that Have Succeeded in the Later 30’s: Jamie Moyer
One of Raul Ibanez’s teammates can tell him all about success in their later years. When Jamie Moyer was 38 years old he finished 4th in Cy Young voting after going 20 – 6 and finished 5th in the Cy Young voting two years later when he went 21 – 7.
Players that Have Succeeded in the Later 30’s: Tony Gwynn
The past three seasons Raul Ibanez has average 113 RBI and this season he’s on pace for 159. That’s a 29 percent increase. The three seasons before he turned 37 years old Tony Gwynn averaged 68 RBI per season. When he turned 37 he had 119 RBI. That’s a 42 percent increase. Raul Ibanez’s home run pace is a 55 percent increase over the past three seasons. When Tony Gwynn turned 37 his home run total increased 52 percent. OMG! Tony Gwynn used steroidz!