An Age Reset
Updated: Jun 18
Satchel Paige pitched his last Major League Baseball game at the age of 59. He had a storied career that began in the Negro Leagues in 1926. He made his MLB debut with the Cleveland Indians at the age of 42.
There’s no doubt about it —Paige was an incredible athlete. He is considered by many to have been the hardest thrower in baseball history.
And if you take into account that the current average retirement age for MLB players is 29.5 years old — it only makes Paige’s career that more amazing.
So what was the secret to Paige’s longevity in baseball? I’d suggest it was due, in part, to the lack of importance he placed on his chronological age. That and he also worked hard and loved the game.
And he probably didn’t place a lot of importance on what year he was born because records at that time weren’t kept as well as records are now. He did have a ballpark (see what I did there?) idea — somewhere between 1900 and 1908. But that was it.
The accepted date for his birth was eventually decided to be July 7,1906.
Satchel Paige kept on playing ball well past the age society says ballplayers are supposed to retire. Because he didn’t really know how old he was the number just didn’t mean that much to him.
So I’d suggest taking a page from Satchel’s playbook. Don’t let your age play such a big role in defining who you are and what you can do.
Everyday when you wake up ask yourself the question, “How old would I be if I didn’t know how old I was?”
Then smile and start shaking off the ridiculous societal age constraints and biases that are getting in the way of you living your life with joy, verve, strength, and grace.
You are the one who gets to decide how you want to show up for life — not your age.
And whatever age you decide you are —you still have a place in the game.
“How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?” -Satchel Paige