Jamie Moyer, shown above pitching for the Colorado Rockies in May 2012, made his major league debut back in 1986. He says that after decades in the major leagues, he'd occasionally have to remind himself that "in baseball terms, I really was old, but in everyday life, I really wasn't."
We don't often think of professional athletes improving with age, but Jamie Moyer was a better pitcher in his 40s than he was in his 20s. Moyer became the oldest pitcher to win a Major League Baseball game when, in April 2012, at the age of 49 years, 150 days, he pitched the Colorado Rockies to a 5-3 win over the San Diego Padres.
When I think of the writers I worshiped when I was starting out in life, I always think of Margaret Drabble. She was 20 years older than I, but the serious, hip, intellectual British novelist whose black-and-white photo appeared on the front cover of some of her paperbacks seemed permanently young. Reading her was like having an extremely brainy and fashionable best friend who'd been educated at Cambridge and had really lived.
In the pages of David Finkel's new book, you'll meet a veteran who has recurring nightmares in which a fellow soldier asks, "Why didn't you save me?" You'll also meet a veteran who sees images of dead Iraqis floating in his bathtub, and another who tries to kill himself by biting through his right wrist — the only wrist he can raise to his mouth since his left side is paralyzed.