We know the company line on older ballplayers hanging on long past their primes is that they should retire to save themselves continued embarassment. And for people like Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith, we suppose it makes sense; they were once legends, and gripping so tightly toward the end just seems undignified.
But what if you were never a legend? What if you have no real "prime" to defile? What if you just love baseball so much that you just want to keep playing until ... well, until absolutely no one will pay you to do it anymore?
Witness Pat Borders, longtime mediocre catcher. Borders turns 43 next Sunday, and he will celebrate it by playing for the Class A Palm Beach Dodgers. Borders says he'd like to make it back to the big leagues someday, but that's not the real point; "I'm still having a good time. I'd be playing softball at home anyway."
We understand this mindset completely. Baseball is an incredibly fun game to play, and if we were able to keep playing, without regard to performance or the pressures of pushing for the next paycheck or anything else, we'd continue to do it too. We hope Borders plays until he's 50, barking out orders to a bewildered American Legion-team 19-year-old. Why not, you know?
Border-ing On Fun [Daytona Beach News-Journal]