The Mets will be sending 42-year-old Bartolo Colon to the mound tonight against 40-year-old R.A. Dickey, who will be pitching for the Blue Jays. This pitching matchup is significant for two reasons. The first is sentimental in nature: It will be Dickey's first time facing his old team since the Mets traded him to Toronto in 2012. The second is much more historic: This will be the first game in nearly seven years that two starting pitchers over the age of 40 have faced each other.
The last time that this happened was in August of 2008, when the Phillies' Jamie Moyer defeated the Padres' Greg Maddux. In fact, most of the other recent matchups of 40-year-old pitchers have included Moyer, who famously pitched until he was 49 years old. Many others include matchups between David Wells and Tom Glavine, who were pitching with the Padres and Mets respectively, in 2007. Since then, matchups consisting of two 40-year-old pitchers have become nonexistent.
It has often been said that baseball is a young man's game, and this has become increasingly true over the last decade. In 2005, MLB players' total average age was 29.4 years, today it is 28.4. There were 19 players over the age of 40 that season, including five starting pitchers alone. Today, there are just five players over the age of 40, and Colon and Dickey are the only two starting pitchers on that list.
As the demographics of Major League Baseball continue to change, tonight's game could be the last time for a while that we see two pitchers over the age of 40 facing each other. Both Colon and Dickey are coming off solid starts, so in addition to the historical and sentimental, this game could turn into a solid pitcher's duel as well.