Tom Watson, a 59-year-old, came within an eight-foot putt of winning the British Open Sunday, which got me thinking…
What other old-timers might be up for making professional comebacks?
Basketball: Magic Johnson
I’d love to see Magic make one more comeback with the Los Angeles Lakers. Magic turns 50 in August, and while he’s put on some weight since retirement, I’ve seen him compete in a few All-Star weekend events in recent years. I know he’s still got some game. I’m not saying he would take any of Kobe Bryant’s minutes – but if I were Phil Jackson I’d at least give him all of Sasha Vujacic’s.
Baseball: Cal Ripken Jr. and Nolan Ryan
With the Baltimore Orioles stuck in last place in the AL East, why not bring Ripken back? After all, he is baseball’s Iron Man. Third baseman Melvin Mora has been underwhelming and will be a free agent after the season – why not put Cal back at the hot corner? While we’re at it, if I were Texas Rangers president Nolan Ryan, I’d put myself back in the rotation. He might be 62, but I bet he still has some gas left in the tank. Haven’t you seen those Aleve commercials?
Football: Joe Montana
At this rate, Brett Favre will likely be playing into his 60s, but I’d rather see Montana (53) suit up once more for the San Francisco 49ers. Comeback Joe could live up to his nickname one more time.
Tennis: John McEnroe
Finally, in tennis I think 50-year-old John McEnroe could compete for a Grand Slam title as long as Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal decide to go on vacation. As recently as 2006, McEnroe won a professional doubles tournament. He should have fresh legs from sitting in that broadcast booth for so many years.
Some of these comebacks might sound far fetched, but so did Tom Watson contending for a sixth Open Championship a week ago. Stay tuned, sports fans, you never know…
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