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81-year-old pitches record breaking fastball

Published: Aug. 20, 2020 at 9:36 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG) -

It’s been said age is just a number and one Panama City Beach man is proving after 8 decades he’s just getting started.

If you watch him in action you’ll find yourself wanting peanuts and crackerjacks and you won’t care if you ever get back. That’s because his fastball is heating up one World Series.

“I lived out in the country in Tennessee,” said Jim Barr. “And as a 12-year old I did not have any opportunity to play baseball. But one day a neighbor came by and said Jim hop in the truck, let’s go play baseball.”

That began a lifetime of adventures for Barr. Adventures that are still going strong 69 years later.

“August the 5th I turned 81,” Barr said.

If you think age has slowed him down think again.

“For the last 4 years I’ve been going down to Fort Myers and playing in the Forever Young Baseball World Series,” said Barr. “It had to be divine intervention. They clocked my fastball at 79.6 miles per hour which was a World Series record down there. To many they probably think Barr is silly still playing baseball.

“But if I can play baseball at the age of 81 I just feel so blessed,” said Barr. “And my mission now in life is to help other men defy age and live a better quality of life.”

After losing his mother, father, brother and sister to cancer Barr said he made a decision 20 years ago to live a healthier life. Including getting rid of stress.

“I concluded that stress triggers more illnesses than anything,” said Barr. “So as a result of that I started eating healthy foods and I was able to control stress actually to avoid completely stress.”

Striking out stress! Is that really possible?

“The main way I can do that,” said Barr,“Whatever happens in my life I say it happened for a reason or a purpose. If it happens then I’ll deal with it. But I’m not gonna let it destroy my way of life.”

Barr added he is living proof you can slide into a better life.

“For the past 20 years I’ve not had a head cold, a headache, a stomach ache or the flu and I’ve never taken a flu shot,” said Barr. “I have not missed a single day of work for illness.”

Barr has written his story where he details the changes he made and offers a copy to anyone. He also speaks to civic organizations and other groups. And of course, he pitches old age a curveball by staying on the mound.

“I said last year was going to be my last year at the age of 80,” said Barr. “But then I started getting all these invitations because of the speed of my fastball. And I said gosh I believe I can make it at least one more year. So I’m taking it one year at a time and I’ll still do it as long as I feel that I can be competitive.”

If you’d like a copy of Jim Barr’s story or would like to talk with him in person, you can get in touch with him at jimleobarr@yahoo.com or you can call him at (850) 814-8586.

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