50yr making his way back on the hill


Pretty detailed but I think I need to explain it that way…I tore my rotator 26yrs ago at the age of 24 (1994) during practice diving for a ball in the hole. Never have thrown the ball the same since (mid 80s). When I tried to get it diagnosed and went through the basic arm strength tests from the doc(s) through the years they told me I had good strength and blew me off (never mri’d). I only played 1 more year of baseball after that because of the pain and frustration. Started playing slowpitch softball at the age of 30. I would have to get 3 cortisone injections a year (pre, reg & post seasons) for several years until one of my tendons finally pinched between the bones-very painful! They finally did the surgery to release the impingement (2004). Surgeon told me my shoulder was much worse then he expected-duhh. He also told me he saw an old rotator tear but did NOT fix it because too much time had passed. NO more pain for 5+ years. Was really excited thinking I could throw, again. I could but the velocity was gone. The past 2-3 years the pain came back and would have 1-2 throws from the outfield per game (softballs are way too heavy) then it would be shot for the week. My buddy ex-D1 all conference and pro prospect ended up getting both his shoulders done in late 2014 and he kept telling how good he felt (late 30s). So, I met w/ his surgeon late 2015 and he was very skeptical at first because of my age at the time (49). I told him that I solely wanted to have this done so I could PITCH BASEBALL, again. He knew I was in good shape and was quickly convinced to have me imaged (mri w/ contrast). I had a completely torn labrum, small to medium rotator tear and needed two more areas of clavicle bone shaving to be done–fairly extensive work. He told me with all those repairs at least 1 year maybe longer for full recovery. That was done 2/8/16. Was able to swing the bat by June (softball). I was back on the baseball field with guys my age by Aug (50+ league). Pain free other then some soreness here and there. Could hit and field (baseball) no problem but arm still very weak, but that was simply due my short recovery period. I’ve been in the gym lifting (no free weights) the entire fall and winter. Have at least 95% upper body strength back-great news. I was able throw a football at least 45 yards in the fall (55-57 yards when younger). I put that down due to weather and recently started throwing sessions with a racket ball then tennis ball and now a super pinky (close to baseball weight) in the gym against the wall of the racket ball court to try to build arm strength 1-2 times a week. Trying to get back on the mound this Spring or at least by early summer. Getting pretty good velocity. At my age I hoping to get my velocity in the upper 70s to low 80s. Pretty confident that will be the case… Looking for best tips or exercises to get me there…? Am I going about this in the wrong way? When should I start trying to throw off a mound (indoors)? Should I only throw fastballs for a while…? Not sure if trying to spin the ball (curves/sliders) at this point would be harmful or too stressful? How many pitches to start? How many times a week should I throw? Long toss beneficial? Thank you so much for reading all of this and hopefully replying


You may end up being the forum expert on this topic. You are a bad ass. Keep it up . Your story is inspiring . I’m sure you will get some great advice. Post a video. Rock on!


Thank you Tom. If things work out well I will upload some video footage of my first game back this Spring/Summer. In the meantime, hopefully I can get some advice/tips to build arm strength and stamina.


I’m no expert in this area but balance - front to back - in the shoulder is important. There are fewer muscles/muscle groups for decelerating the arm as there are for accelerating the arm so train the backside decelerators 1/3 more than the frontside accelerators.

Also, your strength training needs to include rotational movement patterns (a lot of strength training exercises are linear).


Thank you Roger. I just started to concentrate on the decelerating exercise per your advice. Will start the rotational movements this week.