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Searching For The Top BAOD

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We get it. Chris Chelios is not your average 47-year-old. He can spend more time in the sauna than anyone else. He has tenure. He was old enough to watch the moon landing in high school. He graduated ahead of his head coach. But, Christ, the man hasn’t recorded a point all year and he’s still on the Detroit Red Wings playoff roster.

Nevertheless, Chelios is a bad ass old dude (BAOD). And they are everywhere.
Mark Martin — Longevity may not be as impressive when the sport is motor racing, but nevertheless, Heeeeeee’s 50. And he’s not just another back-of-the-packer, he’s actually giving the young’uns a run for their money this year. Through 11 races, he’s won two and started on the pole three times, something he hasn’t done since his 30s. (And we’re not even a third through the season).
Dikembe Mutombo — It’s with a wistful mindset that I include this many-named man, since an injury in this year’s NBA playoffs ended his career. Prior to that, No. 55 was still wagging the finger after blocks, even in the playoffs against Brandon Roy. Bonus points go to DM for continually trying to improve the quality of life in his home country of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Jamie Moyer — The second oldest active player in the USA Big Four, Moyer was also the oldest pitcher to start a World Series game since Jack Quinn in 1929 (although, if you want to be all huffy about it, nobody will ever be able to break that record, since Jack Quinn is currently 125 years old, going on 126). He’s given up home runs to Cecil Fielder and Prince Fielder. He was never a dominating pitcher (one All Star game in 22 seasons), but he’s collected a ton of wins, losses, strikeouts, and innings pitched.
Omar Vizquel — Many elder baseballers are pitchers, much like all the elder footballers are punters and placekickers, and all the old hockey players are playing cribbage with Chelios on Mondays. So I had to include a position player. It’s true what they say: old shortstops never die, they just fade away. Ozzie Smith, Luis Aparicio, and Barry Larkin are examples of shortstops who played there almost religiously through the winter of their career. Vizquel is currently backing up Texas Rangers phenom shortstop Elvis Andrus. Vizquel is, I think, the oldest position player in the majors, turning 42 last month.
Kevin Mawae — Normally offensive lineman call it a career in their mid-30s. The 38-year-old Mawae, a center, will play his 17th season for the Tennessee Titans next year as not only a team captain, but also the president of the NFL Players Association, an elected position that demands results.

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About Suss

  • I was going to include Franco, but I limited it to active players. Although I’m sure Franco is playing in Tijuana somewhere, tinkering with that goofy stance, trying to hit for average, waiting for another chance to make it back to the bigs.

    Mid 40s? He played until he was 49.

  • I voted for Moyer, mainly because I’m a baseball guy. He’s a modern Tommy John (as you point out — good but never great), and he didn’t even need the surgery.
    He wasn’t on the list, but I want to vote for Julio Franco. No, he wasn’t playing shortstop like Vizquel, but the man was in his mid-40’s. I was at the game in Cincinnati when Julio became the oldest player to have a multi-homer game. Amazing.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Chelios brings a room presence like nobody else, hence he’s on the roster and should be. He’s the man, man.

  • Jim

    I vote for myself, of course.