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HEISER: Over-40 York County athletes proving they can still compete, and win

Steve Heiser
York Dispatch
  • York Township pitcher Jay Dimler, 51, recently pitched a one-hitter in a Susquehanna League game.
  • Bill Brenner is still a competitive York County golfer in his early 70s.
  • Jim Kohr won a York City-County men's tennis title last year at age 48.

If you’re over 50, love sports and live in York County, Jay Dimler should be your new hero.

If you haven’t heard by now, Dimler, at age 51, pitched a one-hitter Sunday in York Township’s 4-1 triumph over East Prospect, baffling hitters three decades his junior.

York Township pitcher Jay Dimler is still going strong at age 51 in the Susquehanna League.

The truly remarkable part about Dimler’s achievement?

He did it against the Susquehanna League’s first-place team. In fact, the Pistons entered Sunday’s contest with a perfect 10-0 record.

Before Sunday, the powerhouse Pistons outfit had been averaging more than six runs per game, but against Dimler they managed just a single, unearned, seventh-inning run.

Granted, East Prospect was missing a few regulars because of vacations and work conflicts, but it’s still a previously unbeaten, first-place club we’re talking about and Dimler simply dominated them.

He didn’t do it with an overpowering fastball. In fact, he struck out just two batters. Instead, he relied on guile, guts and experience.

SUSQUEHANNA LEAGUE: Dimler, at age 51, hurls one-hitter vs. league-leading East Prospect

 

“When you throw strikes, guys will get themselves out,” he said after the game. “They won’t often square it up. Today I’d say they probably had about four or five balls squared up, but only one of them fell in for a hit.”

It was Dimler’s second win of the season and he gave no indication that he’s ready to call it quits.

“It’s still fun for me,” he said. “I get to play and do a little coaching.”

Other over-40 standouts: Dimler gave us all a much-needed reminder that athletic excellence doesn’t necessarily have to end when you turn 40, 50, 60 or even 70.

Yes, as you age, it becomes much more difficult to compete against the young bucks. They’re naturally stronger and faster. They’re also more limber and possess more endurance. Those advantages can be mighty difficult to overcome — but not impossible.

Dimler proved that point Sunday and he’s hardly alone.

In fact, Dimler is just one of several York County athletes who have proven over recent years that the over-40 crowd can still not only compete, but win, against more youthful foes.

Last summer, for instance, Jim Kohr collected his 17th York City-County Men’s Singles Tennis Championship at the age of 48.

Kohr, Lynn win York City-County Tennis thrillers

 

Bill Brenner is in his early 70s and less than a year ago captured his 24th Briarwood East Golf Club Championship. He also won his sixth York County Amateur crown in 2004 when he was in his late 50s.

Connie Shorb is in her late 60s, and just last summer came close to winning her 32nd Women’s York County Amateur Golf Association championship, falling in the finals to Amy Kennedy, 2&1. She won that same title as recently as 2013 when she was in her mid-60s.

Those are just a few examples of some county athletes who have managed to beat back Father Time, at least for a bit. There are surely numerous others.

Of course, we all know that Father Time is ultimately the one unbeatable foe. He’ll eventually catch up with each and every one of us.

Still, it’s truly encouraging for the rest of us to see men and women “of a certain age” still competing and still winning.

Their muscles may ache and their bones may crack, but they continue to prove their championship mettle.

They should serve as an inspiration to anyone whose 40th birthday is just a distant memory.

Steve Heiser is sports editor of The York Dispatch. He can be reached atsheiser@yorkdispatch.com.