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All of these fads have come and gone during Bartolo Colon's career

You wouldn't believe it seeing him slinging near-perfectos this season, but Bartolo Colon turned 45 on Thursday. For 21 of those years, Big Sexy has been plying his trade in Major League Baseball. He's gone from fireballing rookie in 1997 to Cy Young Award winner in 2005 to entirely out of baseball in 2010 to late-career, dinger-smacking legend in the late-aughts. You want a visual of that timeline? Here's a visual of that timeline:

In recognition of his day of birth, we wanted to highlight a few things in the world that have happened or caught the public eye after Bartolo's big league debut (April 4, 1997) and fallen by the wayside since. A beautiful graphic (that you can print out to hang in your room) and short list is below.
Graphic by Gemma Kaneko /
In baseball ...
- More than 3,000 players have started and ended their careers, including David Ortiz (Sept. 2, 1997-Oct. 10, 2016), Paul Konerko (Sept. 8, 1997-Sept. 28, 2014) and Carlos Beltrán (Sept.14, 1998-Oct. 31, 2017).
- Colon has pitched to three different father-son combinations: Clay and Cody Bellinger, Eric Young and Eric Young Jr., Cecil and Prince Fielder.
- Colon's career has outlasted the "Devil" in Devil Rays (1998-07) and been around longer than the Washington Nationals (2005). He's the only player left who played on the Expos, and he's outlived an entire baseball stadium in Turner Field (April 4, 1997-Oct. 2, 2016).
In pop culture ...
- Bartolo's big league tenure has seen the premiere and end of many famous shows, such as Sex and the City (1998-04), Dawson's Creek (1998-03), Ally McBeal (May 1997-2002) and Mad Men (2007-2015).
- He's been pitching during the release of five of the nine Star Wars trilogy films (and could reach six if he plays next year).
- His career has seen the beginning and end of the entire Harry Potter book and movie franchise (Sept. 1997-2011).
- Many bands have risen to fame and crashed into an early breakup during his time in baseball, including One Direction (2010-2015), Destiny's Child (1997-2006) and B2K (1998-2004). Remember B2K? I'm sure Bart remembers B2K.
- Speaking of Puff Daddy, Colon has seen the full circle of the rapper's nicknames: Puff Daddy (1997), P. Diddy (2001), Diddy (2005), P. Diddy (2006), Sean John (2008), Swag (2011), Puff Daddy (2014).
In technology ...
- Bart's career has outlasted the iPod Classic, Nano and Shuffle and iPhones 1 through X.
- His 21 years in MLB have seen an estimated 49 NASA expeditions, including the New Horizons mission all the way to Pluto (2006-2016).
- AOL Instant Messenger started (May 1997) and ended (December 2017) during his tenure. We can only hope he used BigSexy40 as his screenname.

In other sports ...
- Tiger Woods won his first Masters (April 10-13, 1997), took leave from golf (2009-10), began golf again (2011), took leave again (2016-17), began again (2018).
- Michael Phelps swam his entire pro/Olympic career and won 23 gold medals (2000-2016).
- Paul Pierce played 19 years in the NBA (1998-2017).
- The Knicks have had 13 coaches.
- NFL players Kurt Warner (1998), LaDainian Tomlinson (2001), Randy Moss (1998) and Brian Urlacher (2000) played full careers, waited five years and were inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
- The UConn women's basketball team has won 10 National Championships and is 733-50 over Bartolo's reign.