July 5, 2018
We are in the midst of a fairly oppressive heat wave, but that did not discourage me from running in a 10k road race. Although I finished second in the 50-59 men’s age category (at the age of 59, by the way), my final time would have been utterly humiliating just a few years ago. Like it or not, my body is slowing down.
I’m not the only one.
Here are a few things, according to this article at ESPN’s website (“What Happens When Ball Players Age?”), that I did not know (and wish I hadn’t been told):
– Fastball speed starts to decline in a pitcher’s early 20’s.
– Exit velocity (the speed the ball leaves the bat on a hit) begins to decline at 23 or 24.
– An average runner slows a little more than 1 inch per second every year, beginning almost immediately upon his debut, which means with each birthday, it’s as if the bases were pulled 4 inches farther apart.
– Triples peak in a player’s early 20’s, as does batting average on balls put into play
– A 23-year-old in the majors is twice as likely to play center field as left field; by 33, the opposite is true.
– Catchers’ framing skills peak in the mid-20’s.
– Batter’s contact rates peak at 28 or 29.
– Pitchers issue the fewest walks at about 26.
That’s not all.
– Cognitive abilities peak at 24.
– Perceptual speed drops continuously after 25.
And here I was thinking that some jokester was just putting the mile markers further apart….