A 60-year-old man in New Mexico is proving that it's never too late to try to live out your dreams. According to a report on Today.com, pitcher Paul Risso tried out for the St. Paul Saints, a professional independent league team in Minnesota and impressed the staff there with his arm.
“I think he could get hitters out in this league,’’ St. Paul pitching coach Kerry Ligtenberg told TODAY. “I don't know if he could do it consistently but it's impressive. You know, I'm only 42, and I don't think I could do what he's doing.”
Risso, who was drafted in 1973 by the Pirates, never made it to the big leagues after injuring his arm. He became an engineer and father of five, but after nearly four decades, wanted a chance to live out his dream.
"This is unfinished business," he told the St. Paul Pioneer Press. "When I got back into baseball, I made it my goal to reach the highest level I could. I have to take every opportunity I can."
This is not Risso's first time trying to get back in the game. In 2008, he told the Pioneer Press, he tried out for the Alpine (Texas) Cowboys of the Pecos League, with similar results: He impressed the coaches, but not quite enough to make the roster.
"I thought it was a hoax, somebody trying to get some attention," that team's manager, Donnie Randell, told the Pioneer Press earlier this year. "Once I met with him and realized how hard he's worked, we gave him an opportunity. He did pretty well. His fastball was in the low 80s. Has a decent breaking ball. It was not an embarrassing situation at all.
Despite not making it to the (minor) big leagues this time, Risso's family told TODAY that they're convinced he'll keep at it.
There’s no doubt he’ll keep trying out,’’ his wife, Aileen Risso, said. “That’s just him.”