Monday, June 20, 2011


Most people think of sports as a young person's game. Yesterday Rory McIlroy, a 22 year old from Northern Ireland won the U.S. Open Golf Tournament breaking several records along the way including being the youngest person to ever win the Open. And yesterday an 80 year old man was rehired to be the new interim manager of the Florida Marlins baseball team. Jack McKeon was brought back to the team to help them get back on a winning track. He retired 6 years ago as the Manager. He wasn't invited back because he is 80 years old, but because he was good at his job, having guided the Marlins to the 2003 World Series Championship and steering them through many winning seasons. He began his professional baseball career in 1949 at the age of 19.

Now the jokes begin. I heard one this morning on the IMUS Show: Sitting in the dugout one of the players calls Jack's name over and over to let him know the game has started. The implication is that at 80 he is worn out and taking a nap. But the joke is on the teller not on Jack. He's got the job, the pay, the excitement and celebrity that comes with the territory. Enthusiastic and energized, Jack is doing something he loves. He would feel that way if he was 25, 50, or 80.

While almost 60 years separates them in age, they have a lot in common--their drivers(no pun intended). Drivers are the emotional fulfillment individuals get from the activities they participate in at work and at play. My guess is that among Jack and Rory's drivers are to be competitive, to challenge themselves, and to constantly be improving their skills and techniques. I am sure there are a few others as well. Knowing your drivers keeps you in the game regardless of age. Do you know yours?

Jack is not the oldest manager in baseball history. That honor goes to
Connie Mack. He managed the Philadelphia Athletics up until age 87. I believe that Connie Mack's record will fall in the next 20 years when we get our first 90 year old manager. If you think it can't happen, think again!

No comments: