(WLNS) – Baseball is typically a young man’s sport.
But for Phil Clements it’s a whole different ball game.
“He plays better still..than have the guys in the league…”
“Ya know it’s just so amazing to watch him play and the things that he can do.”
Clements can talk the talk and walk the walk.
And to Phil age is simply a number.
“Well, I’m 78 now and I don’t remember not playing some baseball,” he says.
“I would like to be at that age..and I don’t think I’ll make it that far along…but I hope that I can.”
” I think when I take my hat off a couple of times…they say holy moley how old is that guy.”
Back in his younger years, Clements wasn’t quite good enough to earn a scholarship to play college ball, but managed to walk on at Central Michigan.
“I almost got signed by the Detroit Tigers ah one time in 1961..ah they only offered me $5,000 but I did have a tryout in Tigers Stadium with Bill Freehan and a couple other people but by the time I graduated from college I was almost twenty-five. That had a factor in my signing.”
But when that didn’t work Phil kept swinging anyways. “It became an outlet for my trials and tribulations of life. I can have an escape…from the normal problems of the day or the week or whatever.”
For over ten years, Clements has made the trek all the way from Big Rapids to Lansing once a week, about four hours total, to play ball.
“I think the first thing when I think of when I put my foot on the rubber is, oh god, I hope they don’t kill me too bad.”
But it’s the other way around.
“Sometimes I’m slower than what they’ve seen and they miss the ball.”
“Ya know, all of us gotta look at the age thing for my age group. I’m pretty still pretty spry but you never know what next year what might happen or not happen and so I’m just thankful I’ve gotten this far.”
Keep on going Phil, we’ll be watching.