A month shy of his 31st birthday, the Oakland Athletics’ Bobby Cramer became the oldest starter to make his debut in A’s history since 1945 when they were in Philadelphia. The lefty earned his first major league win by holding the Kansas City Royals to one run in 5 1/3 innings in the A’s 3-1 victory Monday afternoon at Kaufmann Stadium. Cramer’s road to today’s milestone is a testament to persistence.
Starting his career in 2003 in Tampa Bay’s farm system, he was cut by the Rays and was out of baseball completely in 2005-06. During that time, the lefty was a substitute high school math teacher and worked in pipeline maintenance. Cramer played in an independent league in 2008, then began this year in the Mexican League, where he went 13-3 with a 2.95 ERA in 22 games with Quintana before getting called up by the A’s. Now’s that’s a lesson everyone can take to heart.