Who Is The Oldest Football Player In The Nfl Oldest American Professional Athletes

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Oldest American Professional Athletes

“Age doesn’t matter”. Not so for many professional athletes, who defy conventional wisdom by playing their sport when other players have already earned a nice retirement. Why do they do this? Reasons can range from high motivation to lifelong participation in competitive sports. Here are the oldest players in various American professional sports:

1. Baseball: Leyroy “Satchel” Paige

Interestingly, Page was 42 years old when he became a professional baseball player. The pitcher was known not only for his hard pitch fastball, but also for his showboating, which became popular with the crowd. During his last year playing professional baseball (1965), Page was an amazing 59 years old! As a side note, Page’s birth date of 1905 is somewhat unclear.

Still, Paige’s story is interesting. He began his professional baseball career in the Negro Leagues (1923), during an era when African-Americans were prohibited from playing in the white baseball leagues. During his nearly three-decade career, Paige won an estimated 80% of his nearly 2,500 plate appearances.

2. Basketball: Nat Hickey

In the USA, Nat Hickey became the oldest player in the history of professional basketball. At age 45 (and 2 days shy of his 46th birthday), Hickey played in one game in his final NBA season. In the game, he scored two points (on a free throw), was 0-6 on field goal attempts, and also committed five personal fouls. Hickey played on several professional basketball teams from the 1920s to the 1940s. During his last year as a player in the NBA, Hickey actually served as the head coach of the Providence Steamrollers.

3. Football: George Blanda

Interestingly, many “experts” labeled Blanda as one of the “NFL rejects”. They argued that he wasn’t skilled enough to play in the NFL. Blanda proved all these critics wrong and retired from professional football at the age of 48. He also holds the record for the longest professional football career at 26 years. His accomplishments include throwing seven touchdowns in one game and being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

4. Hockey: Gordie Howe

When he retired at age 52, Gordie Howe became the oldest NHL player in professional league history. Born in Canada, many consider Howe to be one of the greatest hockey players in professional hockey history. Some of Howe’s other recordings include:

  • Most NHL (regular season) games played: 1,767
  • Most NHL games (regular season) played by one team: 1,687
  • Most NHL seasons played: 26

He also held the career hockey records for career goals and assists, although Wayne Gretzky has since broken both records. Howe’s other accomplishment is that both the Hartford Whalers and the Detroit Red Wings retired Howe’s #9 jersey.

For these four record-breaking professional athletes, age doesn’t really matter. While most players have already settled into new careers, these players are still hitting the field, court or field. They proved that sport is not only for the young, but also for the passionate young.

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