Professional baseball is typically a young man’s sport. In Major League Baseball, you can be considered a “veteran” at the age of 30. With the combination of getting started at a very young age, to bodies breaking down after years of strenuous pitching, crouching, running and swinging, baseball can put a toll on one’s body. The average age of a player retiring is around 33 to 34 years old. While not exactly Major League Baseball, Glenwood League has been around for almost 100 years and features less teams and less games, than MLB, but the game is the same. Harborcreek Township native Matt Palisin continues to be a strong mound presence at 46 years old against players half his age in the Glenwood League.
While his fastball may not reach the speeds it once did, Palisin uses his baseball acumen to outwith batters. Mixing up a variety of off-speed pitches while playing with the corners of the plate, he can still get young, eager hitters to swing and miss.
“I certainly don’t feel 46 years old,” said the Fredonia, New York, resident, who has been baseball coach at State University of New York at Fredonia for 15 years, and serves as assistant sports information director at the school. “I don’t get off the mound as quickly, and the knees are a little slower to recover. But physically, I feel the same as when I was 18. I feel like if there’s a game we need to win, I want to be the guy out there (on the mound) and compete. The challenge is still there to try and win a game.”
Palisin’s passion with baseball started at the ripe age of 1 and it hasn’t diminished since. His father fondly recalls Palisin throwing the ball across the room over and over. He joined organized team baseball games at age 7 and eventually moved on to Little League. As Palisin got older, his fastball got better and more commanding. While never reaching the Majors, he’s found great success in the Glenwood League and doesn’t see himself leaving anytime soon.
What are your thoughts? Do you find yourself still keeping active as you get older?