Julio A. Moya Espinoza
- Throws Right
Julio Moya was a star Nicaraguan pitcher of the 1970s-1980s.
Moya debuted in 1975 with Cazaro. He was with the Nicaraguan national team by the 1978 Central American and Caribbean Games, going 3-0 with an event-best 0.75 ERA to help Nicaragua win the Silver Medal. He was 1-1 with a 2.45 ERA in the 1978 Amateur World Series, tying Cesar Monge for second on Nicaragua in ERA behind Julio Espinoza, ahead of Porfi Altamirano, a future major leaguer. He pitched in the 1979 Intercontinental Cup and 1982 Central American and Caribbean Games. He went 1-2 in the 1983 Intercontinental Cup and 2-0 in the 1983 Pan American Games, which he led with 12 strikeouts. Nicaragua won Silver in the Pan Am Games, behind Cuba but ahead of a Team USA that had Mark McGwire, B.J. Surhoff and Tim Belcher.
1984 was his best season as a player. He won the pitching Triple Crown with León, going 21-3 with a 0.14 ERA, 20 complete games, 9 shutouts and 95 strikeouts. He tied Sergio Lacayo's 15-year-old ERA record, fell one win shy of Lacayo's record and tying Altamirano and Tony Chevez's shutout record. He was the third pitcher to win a Triple Crown, following Chevez and Altamirano (who had won two). No one else would do so until Diego Sandino in 2000. He was 4-0 with a 1.87 ERA in the 1984 Amateur World Series on a team that was otherwise 1-8, beating Italy, the Netherlands Antilles, Japan and Puerto Rico. He tied Hiroshi Nagatomi for the event lead in wins and also tie the record for wins in an Amateur World Series. He remained with Nicaragua for the 1984 Olympics.
Moya finished his career 66-31 with a 2.06 ERA in Nicragua and 13-7 with a 2.72 ERA for the national team. Through 2007, he was 7th all-time in Nicaragua in ERA. In 2003, he was inducted into the Nicaraguan Sports Hall of Fame. Nine years later, though, he was battling health issues (renal failure) when more serious problems arose when he was put into prison for domestic violence.