Adolph Hoffman is 86 and in a league all his own. He learned how to get fit and stay fit a long time ago.
This week Hoffman is in Phoenix to compete in the National Senior World Series Baseball Tournament. He's playing on two teams.
"I started playing hardball at 80. I just had a great time, I'm very fortunate to be able to hit the ball pretty good," said Hoffman. He says he last played serious baseball at the age of 39, when he retired from construction work he decided to pick up the bat and ball again.
Hoffman plays second base for the Texans, but he also plays on a team from California. The manager of the California team heard about Hoffman and recruited him from San Antonio. On the San Antonio team Hoffman competes in the 55 and over league. On the California team he's in the 65 and over league.
Hoffman often plays among men in their fifties and sixties. He says at first some players resented him, but when he proved himself they accepted him. He says as long as he's accepted he'll play ball. "It just thrills me to death that I can compete with these 50-year-old players. When I feel like I can't contribute I'll hang 'em up again," Hoffman said.
During one game Hoffman recalls Sunday KENS 5 Anchor Barry Davis running up to second base. As some people on TV tend to do, Davis made Hoffman feel like the big deal he is at any game. "He said, those people are so impressed with you, they can't stop talking about you," Hoffman said.
His secret to staying fit revolves around diet, nutrition and exercise. Hoffman is a role model for people of all ages. When he isn't playing baseball he's looking after his 185-acre farm in Somerset.
"It's so much fun, the good Lord has blessed me," Hoffman said. "I have five daughters and four son-in-laws, 11 grand kids and four great-grandkids and they all back me and give me energy and encouragement."