There’s hope for us yet! :lol:
Hey thats cool…now Im going to set myself up for some rib shots.
When I was 35 years old I was the pitching coach at NCAA DII Concordia U in St. Paul. We had a tough recruiting class that year in terms of pitching and during the fall we had three substantial injuries to pitchers.
At the time I was back in school to finally complete my BS. I had continued to pitch at competitive level of amatuer ball after I blew my arm up junior year of college in 1990.
Long story short it made SOME sense to pitch for the team. The head guy wanted me to, I was at practice every day and frankly stated our staff was real weak.
So I was a 35 year old red shirt junior and my clock had not run out so I was eligible. Not the best decesion I ever made as I did not take into consideration many different variables.
Like sitting on a chair for a double header and getting called to come in late in a game when it was MN cold…being all stiff and old. Not being able to work out as much because I was “captain of the pitching staff” and helpiong our pitchers get better… working with them rather then worrying about getting myself into shape.
Among a host of other intangibles that were not considered.
Well I went 1-2 with pretty bad numbers which was due in part to throwing against aluminum which I had not done in 6 or 7 seasons. I did not really think through that either
There are no records to prove it but there was some research done and it appears I may have been the oldest pitcher to win a game at the NCAA level ever and also throw a complete game (conference).
Also my catcher was a 25 year old red shirt senior so that made for a 60 year old battery…LOL!
I don’t regret the decision but it was nearly comical at times and I get a lot of ribbing for it still to this day but all I know is I won a game, and was named academic all conference.
Also Lou Pavlovich named me to his Collegiate Baseball All American fans favorite team or whatever it was called…there were five pitchers on there…1) Jered Weaver, 2) myself, 3) a kid who was on the way to a game and pulled a women from a burning car saving her, 4) a kid who gave up something like five HR’s and several doubles but got the W anyway and I can’t remember what the 5th kid did.
Honestly a funny story more then any thing and again I have taken pleny of ribs shots over the years because of it…so let em rip now.
Springfield College is located in Springfield, Massachusetts. A city in Western Massachusetts that has a rich history in baseball. But, more important than the stats, newsprint, and all that - are the people that made this sport what it is, in my hometown.
Two people come to mind with this article of a 58 year old pitcher, and not just because of the man’s age, but what orbits the entire experience.
Larry Hasenfus has two strikes going against him - he’s 58 years old in a game that sports a roster, usually, of 18 to 25 year olds. And all of those roster players are 100% physically, not to mention quick and with the ball handling skills to match. Larry on the other hand is dyslexia, and only recently has that been found out. He struggled through college the first time around because of it. But his love of this game and his hard core will, earned him a spot on this club’s JV squad.
Now here’s the thing that most everyone missed - his Skipper. The coach that’s at the healm of Springfield College’s baseball program is a man by the name of Head Coach Mark Simeone. Skipper Simione is no stranger to doing remarkable work, pitchers included. In fact, he took charge of the Pride from a man that was a legend in college baseball - Coach Roys (323 wins). No small feat to be sure. Skipper Simeone is like that, both in talent and managerial ability. He can spot an honest work ethic, bring talent along, and has been the foundation for many a ball player that has gone on to bigger and better things. (Just ask Larry Hasefus)
Yes, Larry Hasefus has made a remarkable impact on this game - but, without the Skipper of Springfield College going deeper into the reasons why we all play this game, the human why-n-whatfor, none of this would have been possible.
Class act Skipper, Class act!
Pitching Coach John A. Baker (retired)
Springfield, Massachusetts (my hometown)
Coach Baker knowing what you shared makes the story line even better.
“America” may have it’s struggles as of late but regardless of any thing it is still the best country and place to live in the entire world.