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Post Info TOPIC: no new over-62 team; new age brackets?


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no new over-62 team; new age brackets?


Guys - I regret to say that after making plans to start a seventh team in the over-62s just two weeks ago, that I'm pulling out.

Simple reason: Time. I underestimated the amount of time it tasks to get this underway. There's really too little time
to pull a team together (get signatures on forms, collect fees, get uniforms, etc) before fees are due beginning March 1st.

I've started a team in the past, so I should know. But here, eagerness triumphed over reason. I should have started in October.

Fortunately, no one wrote me about playing, so I didn't take anyone else's time.

The idea for a seventh team in the 62s, and soon after, I'm guessing, an eighth, still seems valid to me.

That's because there are increasing numbers of players in their early 60s ready to leave the 55s and a new team
could siphon off some of that pressure.

There are also, it turns out, lots of guys in their 70s, I'm one, who want to keep hitting and pitching.

Last year, the six over-62 rosters posted 105 players, with an average of 17.5 players per team. This season
five of the six teams added two players up from the 55s or free agency.

That would mean if all the previous players showed, each team, on average, would have a roster of 19+ players this coming season.

When I managed, from 2003 to 2018, I found a good roster size ranged from 13 to 15. Then everyone could
get fair playing time. Anything over that usually meant some guys sat more than they deserved.

Also, the 62s are aging into a 70s crowd: Two years ago, according to John Reel, the 62s had 7 guys over 70.
Last year, it was 20. This year, we could be looking at 40 guys over 70. That puts managers in a pickle:
play the 62-year-old, or the 72 year old? Each has an argument to play.

One new team or two in the 62s would have siphoned off some of those rising/aging pressures.

Another way to release the pressure from the growing number of players and the 70-something players
arriving in the 62s, may be for the league to change the age brackets from the current set-up (over-18,
-33, -45, -55 and -62) to fairly straight system of 10-year leaps: So, over-18, -30, -40,- 50, -60 and then -70.

Here's hoping these posts get us talking.

-Mike






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Mike, I always liked the idea of 18, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70. I've got to say one thing, that playing baseball at any age in any division keeps us boys young at heart.

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Stefan K. Arachnids 62 / Twins 55 / PFRS All-Stars 45


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Thanks, Stefan. I agree with you on playing ball and keeping up our hearts young. Good for bodies, too.

Eventually, I imagine, and hope, we'll go to the 10-year spaced age brackets. It should end the crowding in the 60s,
and give 70 year olds something to anticipate each winter: One more summer of ball.

It's too bad but for too many guys that winter anticipation tends to end somewhere around 68, 69. With the way the
nation is far more health conscious than it was even a decade ago, that's waaaay too soon.

And, for a guy who's there now, you'd be surprised how 76 feels a lot like 66 and 56 for that matter, in fact, some days, I feel
positively 17. 'Course, can't run like I did at 17, but still feel that way. And no 17-year-old wants his playing days to end.

Which points us, as always, to Satchel Paige, who has the record for the oldest pitcher ever to throw in the majors.

On September 25, 1965, when he was 59 (an ancient age in '65), Paige went three scoreless innings against the Red Sox
for the Kansas City A's. He left the game leading 1-0 with one out in the fourth. Yazstremski got the only hit, a double off
the left-field wall. Sox won in the end, 5-2.

The A's crazy-like-a-fox owner Charles O Finley gave Satchel a rocking chair which he put next to the dugout. When Satch left the hill
Finley dimmed the lights, and, over the loudspeaker, asked fans to light and hold up matches and sing in unison, which they
did: "The Old Grey Mare (She Ain't What She Used to Be)." Finley admitted it was a stunt to get attendance (9,289 fans showed)
but everyone loved it.

Satch, a Hall of Famer, toiled in the Negro Leagues until his 40s, where he won more than 60 percent of his games.

Then, in 1948, the great owner Bill Veeck brought him into pitch for his pennant-contending Cleveland Indians. In his first season
of big league ball, the tall, 6-3, and skinny, 180-pound, Paige, at 41, went 6-1 with a World Series appearance. The Indians won
the series, beating the Boston Braves four games to two.

There's a nice story, with video image, of Paige pitching in that 1965 A's-Sox game on the Hall of Fame's website. You can see it
here: https://www.mlb.com/news/satchel-paige-age-59-last-major-league-appearance. Look how smooth Paige pitched.
Not just smooth. Smooooooth.

Satchel left us with more than terrific records, and good images of his pitching. He spoke some fine lines, too.

My favorite? "How old would you be if you didn't know how old you were?"

Me? Seventeen. If I stretch it.

-Mike



-- Edited by mikehart on Wednesday 3rd of January 2024 08:35:10 PM

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