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harangatang
07-13-2006, 07:18 AM
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060712/ap_on_fe_st/83_year_old_player

Wed Jul 12, 7:27 PM ET

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - No one in the bleachers at the Sioux Falls Canaries game was quite sure what was going on down on the field. They were all quiet, wondering and transfixed on the little old man digging into the batters' box.

The infielders moved up on the grass, giggling, and pitcher looked as uncomfortable as anyone else would have felt.

But to 83-year-old Jim Eriotes, it was serious business.

Eriotes led off Tuesday's game for the Canaries against the St. Joe (Mo.) Blacksnakes and took four big swings even fouling a pitch off before striking out.

The at-bat made Eriotes the oldest man to ever play professional baseball. It was his only at-bat in the game.

The record didn't mean much to the Chicago native and former minor leaguer.

"I don't give a damn about that stuff," he said, bothered by his failure to reach base. "If I got a couple more at-bats, I'd get a hit. Easy."

He wasn't kidding.

Eriotes said he had hit pitches thrown harder than the 83-mph fastball he whiffed against Blacksnakes starter Jesen Merle.

He has appeared on the "Today" show and said he has hit pitches near 100 mph although they were hurled by a pitching machine.

He did admit that stepping into the box with a professional on the mound is a different story.

"He wasn't throwing that hard," he said. "I fouled one off. You can be the best hitter in the world and you might not get a hit if you only get one chance. But it was a great opportunity. It was cool."

Spectators Derek Johnson, 27, already had bought his ticket for the game before knowing about Eriotes. But he said he made sure to arrive on time after hearing about the 83-year-old.

"I could not believe he actually got a piece of one. That's better than I could do," he said.

But Johnson's friend Dean Faynor thought the gimmick was excessive.

"I don't know, man, a real game? That's kind of bush," he said.

Former major leaguer Chad Hermansen made sure the Canaries won. Ralph Santana singled and stole second after Eriotes' at-bat, and Hermansen quickly followed with a two-run homer. He later added a double and another homer as the Canaries defeated the Blacksnakes, 5-3.

Hermansen got a good laugh out of his new, and now former, teammate.

"We didn't really know what to expect until we saw him hanging out in the dugout," Hermansen said. "As long as it didn't affect the game, I guess."

But don't expect to see Eriotes in any senior leagues. He's only interested in facing the best.

"Guys my age, it's no challenge," he said. "They're throwing like, what, 40, 50 mph? I'd rather hit pitches that are 90 mph and feel good about myself. If I could just get four at-bats in the majors, I could get a hit."

redsmetz
07-13-2006, 07:46 AM
:laugh:
"I don't know, man, a real game? That's kind of bush," he said

Uh, um... we're talking independent league, minor league game here, guy... - half the game is the schtick :)


"Guys my age, it's no challenge," he said. "They're throwing like, what, 40, 50 mph? I'd rather hit pitches that are 90 mph and feel good about myself. If I could just get four at-bats in the majors, I could get a hit."

Where's Bill Veeck or Charlie Finley when you need them - perfect DH, definite crowd pleaser. Put him in an interleague game against the Reds' bullpen, he's sure to get a hit; it might even be a dinger!

cumberlandreds
07-13-2006, 08:05 AM
Where's Bill Veeck or Charlie Finley when you need them - perfect DH, definite crowd pleaser. Put him in an interleague game against the Reds' bullpen, he's sure to get a hit; it might even be a dinger![/QUOTE]

That's what I was thinking when I saw this last night. Bill Veeck would have had him a big league uniform in a heartbeat. I think the crowd gave him a standing O when he fouled off a pitch. He seemed all serious about everything and wanted another chance. But he had to know it was a stunt to draw a few more fannies in the seats.

BuckWoody
07-13-2006, 08:24 AM
I saw the video last night and the guy didn't have a very smooth stroke. He just sort of waved the bat through the zone. He did foul one off though, which I know is more than I would do at half his age. Good on ya, Jim. :thumbup:

RichRed
07-13-2006, 09:15 AM
Thought this thread was going to be about Julio Franco. ;)

registerthis
07-13-2006, 09:24 AM
:laugh:

Uh, um... we're talking independent league, minor league game here, guy... - half the game is the schtick :)

Yeah, someone might want to remind him that in Sioux Falls, you're IN the bush.

Benny-Distefano
07-13-2006, 10:04 AM
I'll bet he would rock our bullpen.... ;)

RedFanAlways1966
07-13-2006, 11:28 AM
I'd guess that most 83-year-old men could strikeout... unless they were hangin' in the nursing home cafeteria.

Probably be more impressive if an 83-year-old woman struckout in a game...

Do the Adam Dunn haters hate this guy just as much?

Did this guy wear a jockstrap or Depends?

KySteveH
07-13-2006, 09:32 PM
Jerry Narron was at this game, oddly enough. Here's what he had to say about Eriotes:

"Jim has played this game a long time. He'll always give you a professional at-bat. He knows how to play the game, and does the little veteran things that help you win ball games."

col4life
07-13-2006, 10:29 PM
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060712/ap_on_fe_st/83_year_old_player
"Guys my age, it's no challenge," he said. "They're throwing like, what, 40, 50 mph? I'd rather hit pitches that are 90 mph and feel good about myself. If I could just get four at-bats in the majors, I could get a hit."

What league is that where they throw 40-50 mph??? Maybe Hammond has found a new home? :D

Betterread
07-13-2006, 10:41 PM
I'll bet he would rock our bullpen.... ;)

Well, here you go. Let's test our bullpen - if this guy gets his bat on one of your pitches - you're DFA'ed. How about that for a performance measure?

redsfan1966
07-13-2006, 10:49 PM
It did look pretty embarrasing...but i give the old guy credit...i dont think i would stand in there, even against independent rag arms...