Beating Father Time
Eventually Father Time catches each and every one of us.
But every so often someone comes along who is able, through force of will and often the last drop of talent, to bend back the hands of time just long enough to allow for one last hurrah.
The following list does not pretend to be complete, but a compelling look at some of those who managed to stick around for one more day in the spotlight.
Going Out Kicking
George Blanda played his college ball under Bear Bryant at Kentucky before being taken in the 12th round of the NFL Draft in 1949 by the Chicago Bears.
Blanda spends the next 26 years playing pro football as a quarterback and a kicker. In 1970, at age 43 Blanda accounted for the winning points in four consecutive games for the Oakland Raiders.
Plays final NFL game at the age of 48 in 1976 AFC Championship Game with Raiders against the Steelers in Pittsburgh, less than 50 miles from where he was born.
At the age of 52, Sam Snead wins the 1965 Greater Greensboro Open, the oldest winner in the history of the PGA Tour. It was the final of his then record 82 PGA wins.
Snead becomes the first PGA player in history to shoot his age with a 67 in the second round of the 1979 Quad Cities Open.
Snead won his first title in 1936 and qualified for his first Masters in 1937.
Jack Nicklaus seemed to be on the back nine of his career at the 1986 Masters when he reeled off a six -under-par 30 on the back nine to card a final round 65 and win yet another green jacket.
At the age of 48, he became the oldest winner of the any major tournament. Nicklaus almost wasn't done. At the age of 58, Jack tied for sixth in the 1998 Masters.
Dara Torres set her first swimming records at the age of 14 and found herself still breaking records 27 years later. Torres retired from swimming three times yet set a record by appearing in five Olympics.
In the 2008 Beijing Games, Torres becomes the oldest female swimmer in Olympic history at age 41.
She wins the Silver medal in 50 meter freestyle finals breaking the American record in the process and less than an hour later wins a second Silver in the women's 4x100 medley relay.
Beating the Clock
In 1987 three time Indy 500 winner Al Unser Sr. arrived at Indianapolis for the 500 without a ride. A crash by Danny Ongais in practice opens a spot on Roger Penske's team but there is no car to drive.
Penske's team pulls a year old March-Cosworth out of a display in a Reading, Pa., hotel, dusts it off and hands it over to the 47-year-old.
Five days short of his 48th birthday, Unser pilots the car to his record-tying fourth win at the Brickyard.
Roberto Clemente had toiled in baseball's gardens for many a summer and while an icon in Pittsburgh and the Latin American community, had not gained wide aclaim as a baseball great.
He changed all of that in 1971 at the age of 37 hitting safely in all seven games of the World Series that season, batting .414 and taking becoming the oldest player to win the series MVP.
Clemente played one more season, gathering his 3,000th hit in September of 1972 and homering in his final at-bat against Cincinnati in the fifth game of the NLCS before perishing on a relief mission to Nicaragua on Dec. 31, 1972.