Five Athletes that Played Through Old Age

Last week, I saw the great documentary Gotta Dance about the Netsationals, a team of senior citizens that danced hip-hop at New Jersey Nets games. Then I found out that Julio Franco retired, which would indicate that Julio Franco had still been playing baseball. I was shocked; I had assumed that Franco had retired long ago, what with him being older than my father.

In honor of my elderly athletic discoveries last week, here's a look at some athletes that didn't let their age slow them down on the field.

Julio Franco

Baseball's most senior player debuted in the majors in 1982 and made his last MLB appearance 25 years later. He holds the distinction of being the oldest person to hit a home run, on May 4, 2007 at age 48. He played for eight MLB teams and had pit stops in Japan, South Korea and Mexico, where he ultimately retired. ESPN compiled a fun list of facts putting Franco's streak in perspective. Here are a couple of highlights:

- Pitcher Edwin Nunez of the Mariners was the youngest player in baseball (19) the year Franco came into the majors. He played a total of 13 seasons in the majors "¦ and retired 14 years ago.
- Franco was in his sixth major league season, with his second team, when current Diamondbacks outfielder Justin Upton was born.

John Burnosky

Most people don't even make it to 96, let alone with enough energy to ice skate. But John Burnosky does more than that- he still plays hockey, even just four years shy of his centennial. The Guinness World Record holder for "World's Most Durable Hockey Player" once played some minor-league hockey, but never made it to the big leagues because of his scrawny size. Now he plays in 60-and-up tournaments and is easily the oldest person in the tournament. As an added benefit, among hockey players, he probably doesn't have to worry about wearing his dentures. george blanda.jpeg

George Blanda

It wasn't too surprising when George Blanda set the NFL record for most career points. After all, he had more chances to score them. Blanda played for an impressive 26 seasons and went until he was 48 (take that Brett Favre). The quarterback and kicker had good reason to stick around, too. He was famous for a five-game stretch in 1970 where he led last-minute comebacks. He also passed for seven touchdowns in one 1961 game.

Albert Beckles

Most men won't take their shirt off past a certain point, but Albert Beckles had no problem with it. He continued his body building career into his sixties, even winning the Niagara Falls Pro Invitational at the ripe ol' age of 61. The former Mr. Universe also holds the record for most competitions. After his retirement in 1992, he became a vegetarian.

Aladar Gerevich

Aladar Gerevich won his first Olympic gold medal for fencing in 1932. Then, 28 years later, he won another gold, the largest span of time between any two Olympic medals. In between, he won eight other medals and became the only athlete to win gold medals in six different Olympics. In a made-for-Hollywood moment, he showed up for the trials for the 1960 games, but was told he was too old to compete. So what did he do? He individually challenged every member of the team to an individual match"¦and won.

Take a Rare Glimpse Inside the World's Largest Seed Reserve

Since 2008, the remote Arctic island of Spitsbergen has been home to the world’s largest seed storage facility, known as the Svalbard Global Seed Vault.

The 11,000-square-foot facility contains nearly 865,000 seed samples—many of which are crops—and functions as both a reserve in the event of a catastrophe and as a backup for other seed banks around the world. Countries can send samples for preservation and access the reserves as needed (the effort is funded by Norway in conjunction with the organization Crop Trust). The vault was opened for the first time last year in light of the destruction caused by the Syrian War.

Access to the fault is notoriously limited, but AJ+ has a glimpse inside on its YouTube page. It’s a rare look at a place that isn’t known for its looks, but holds some of the planet’s most beautiful and valuable offerings.

[h/t The Kid Should See This]

This Infographic Explains the Difference Between Perfume and Eau de Toilette

Ever wondered why you can't smell the perfume you dabbed on earlier this morning? Maybe it's because you aren't actually wearing perfume. Instead, you likely applied eau de toilette, cologne, or another type of fragrance.

These sprays contain different concentrations of fragrance oil dissolved in solutions of alcohol and water. Scents with a heavier amount of oil are stronger, they're more expensive, and they also last for longer periods of time. Even the most discerning shopper might not know whether to opt for parfum or eu de parfum when perusing bottles of Chanel No. 5 at the fragrance counter—or even realize there's a difference. 

If you'd prefer to smell like a few roses instead of a field of them, it's handy to know the difference between perfume, eau de parfum, eau de toilette, cologne, and eau fraiche when you're out shopping for a new scent. Lifehacker recently ran this handy infographic by Real Men Real Style, which breaks down the strength of each fragrance along with how long it lasts. Use it as a guide to purchase the perfect product for you.

[h/t Lifehacker]


More from mental floss studios