New Yorkers are talking (and so are many other Americans) about an amazing, feel-good event that happened on Saturday, May 7. Bartolo Colon, the 42 year old pitcher for the New York Mets National League baseball team, hit his very first major league home run in a game against the San Diego Padres. For those of you not sure what that means, Colon hit a "four bagger," a hit that goes out of the baseball field so that he scores a run. And because another player was on base at the time, Colon actually hit a two-run homer.

I'm a lifelong Mets fan, so of course this news thrilled me. (His powerful hit also helped the Mets on the way to a 6-3 victory.) But this event has made the national news and is being talked about quite a bit, because Bartolo Colon not only hit his first homer ever, but it turns out that he is now the oldest major league baseball player to hit his first home run! The previous record was held by the powerful pitcher Randy Johnson, who hit his first home run at the age 40 years, 9 months.

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Colon is actually just weeks away from turning 43, and he is still a well-regarded pitcher. A tall, stocky guy, he has proven to be a valuable member of the Mets' pitching rotation (group). Thus, this has become an inspirational moment in sports history. Even in your 40s you may be able to hit that very first home run. If your chosen career or hobby is something else, you still may be able to achieve a milestone, even if you are not a youngster. Hey, there are 80 year old runners who complete their first marathon races. There are people in their 90s who publish their first books. Advanced age may make the likelihood less, but you can still hope and strive.

Then I thought of our biblical matriarch Sarah, who had her first child, Isaac, in her early 90s. Now, these days this may not be possible. But elderly people, and certainly elderly Jews, can still make their mark at advanced ages. You might be a 75 year old Jewish woman who earns a black belt in a martial art. You might be a 79 year old Jewish man who finishes his first collection of poetry. You might be well into your 60s and onto your second or third career as a hazzan. "If you will it, it is no dream," as Theodore Herzl famously stated.

So, Bart Colon, to you I say Mazel tov. And may your achievement be an inspiration to many, many other people of all ages. Muy bien.


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