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Watch 75 year-old Luke Appling hit a homer

Jul 19, 2013, 10:30 AM EST

I knew about this but I don’t know that I’ve ever seen it. It’s Hall of Famer Luke Appling in an old timers game in 1982. When he was 75 years old, mind you, hitting a home run. In the pitcher-friendly RFK Stadium, no less!

  1. jcmeyer10 - Jul 19, 2013 at 10:36 AM

    I gotta say, that’s pretty bad ass.

    • cur68 - Jul 19, 2013 at 10:40 AM

      Yep. Bad. Ass.
      /hat tip

    • Jonny 5 - Jul 19, 2013 at 11:30 AM

      Extremely bad ass. This video would make Chuck Norris tip his hat.

  2. eshine76 - Jul 19, 2013 at 10:40 AM

    If that happened today, MLB would ask him what “wellness clinic” he goes to

  3. aceshigh11 - Jul 19, 2013 at 10:46 AM

    Ha! That is AWESOME.

  4. El Bravo - Jul 19, 2013 at 10:50 AM

    PEDs

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 19, 2013 at 11:29 AM

      Viagra is a PED? wait, don’t answer that

  5. hasbeen5 - Jul 19, 2013 at 10:51 AM

    I’m feeling an especially old 29 today.

  6. jea1978 - Jul 19, 2013 at 10:54 AM

    I was there for this. With my dad and Grandma. I was 4 years old, it’s one of my earliest memories. The crowd went nuts.

  7. raysfan1 - Jul 19, 2013 at 10:57 AM

    Lu-u-u-uke!

    He was my mother’s favorite player, having grown up in Chicago. She still talks about the fans chanting his name so that the cheering sounded like booing, predating the Orioles fans with Boog Powell by a couple decades.

  8. Joe - Jul 19, 2013 at 11:00 AM

    This is one of the more remarkable home runs ever, I think. Appling hit one homer every 229 times he stepped to the plate – career high of 8, career total of 45 in over 2,400 games. And he had the nickname “Old Aches and Pains” while he was a player.

    And given that last bit, I’d say old Luke got around the bases pretty well for a man of 75, too.

  9. sdelmonte - Jul 19, 2013 at 11:18 AM

    I actually remember that.

    Would be nice if there were more teams that did Old Timers games. Or any besides the Yankees.

    • albertmn - Jul 19, 2013 at 1:43 PM

      The Twins did one last year or the year before. It was before a game with the Rangers, and they got Ranger manager/former Twin player Ron Washington to play. All of his players were at the rail in the dugout watching. It was pretty cool.

    • blacksables - Jul 19, 2013 at 2:29 PM

      It wasn’t actually run by a team. It was done by the union and the leagues, to raise money for veteran players who had fallen on hard times.

      This was when a lot of them weren’t eligible for pensions and the health care plan.

      If I remember correctly, this is the only time active players ever thought of the players who came before free-agency, and not their own paychecks.

      • blacksables - Jul 19, 2013 at 2:35 PM

        Just to clarify, when I say active players, this kind of thing was the impetus for further work stoppages.

        They like the idea of getting paychecks for the rest of their lives.

  10. elmo - Jul 19, 2013 at 11:20 AM

    Wow. Get off my lawn, indeed.

  11. shawndc04 - Jul 19, 2013 at 11:35 AM

    I was at that game and it was a great moment. He hit it off of Warren Spahn, and as Luke was rounding the bases Spahn ran over and tapped him on the fanny with his glove. If I remember correctly, it rained that day here in Washington, and there was some question as to whether the game would be played. RFK had not been reconfigured for baseball so they had a tall temporary fence in left a la the LA Coliseum when the Dodgers played there. Nonetheless, he gave it a good ride; it carried about 280 feet.

    • natstowngreg - Jul 19, 2013 at 12:36 PM

      In 1990 or 1991, the Orioles and Red Sox played a couple of exhibitions at RFK, sponsored by the group trying to get an NL expansion team (the one that went to Denver). I was able to get sponsors’ tickets for both, right behind the 1B dugout.

      As with that old-timers game, the powers that be didn’t bother to move the retractable football stands out of the way. For these exhibitions, they had a cheap, plywood imitation Green Monster in LF. Jack Clark, then of the Red Sox, hit a line drive off that wall so hard, I thought the wall was going to fall over.

    • gloccamorra - Jul 19, 2013 at 7:41 PM

      The video doesn’t show a tall fence, there’s a low wall and the ball landed just a few rows back. You can see the back of the fielder looking into the stands. The distance may have been short, but he hit it over a low wall into the seats.

  12. tfbuckfutter - Jul 19, 2013 at 11:59 AM

    Hey! Quit hot dogging it and get around those bases, showoff!

    Some veteran needs to teach him some respect!

  13. deadeyedesign23 - Jul 19, 2013 at 12:39 PM

    That one makes 46 for his career. How nuts is that.

  14. louhudson23 - Jul 19, 2013 at 1:55 PM

    Remember watching it and him jumping all over the pitch…off the arguably the greatest ever…Warren Spahn….

  15. jimbo75025 - Jul 19, 2013 at 2:25 PM

    Didn’t they used to do one of those old timers games every year in the mid 80’s right around the All Star game? I remember watching them as a kid and it seemed like Hank Aaron hit a homer ever year. I was always confused then why his career home run total nevr increased from 755 when I had just seen him hit one out the previous year ha ha.

    They also had a seniors/retired playr league for a few years in the late 80’s didn’t they?

    • larrytsg - Jul 20, 2013 at 7:25 AM

      I remember seeing an Old Timers game in Arlington Stadium back in 86 or 87. These poor old guys played in the Texas summer heat in the afternoon. All I remember was sitting in the outfield bleachers and being “this close” to Willie Mays. No clue who else was in that game….

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