Ken & Phil Prove Old Guys Rule
It was a pretty good weekend for a pair of “old guys” who achieved milestones that for the most part could not be imagined for very different reasons:
Ken Frank took over as head coach of the Toms River South baseball program in 1978 replacing his mentor and close friend Al Fantuzzi who left to become the head coach at Ocean County College. It only took a couple of years for Frank to mold the Indians into a championship caliber program and remarkably with few exceptions it’s been that way ever since. In 2012 he won his 755th game to move atop New Jersey’s all-time wins list and on Saturday the now-retired educator became the first, only and probably last to win 900 games. Frank reached that milestone when his young squad, playing in front of several hundred who were there to witness history, came through with a resounding 12-2, five-inning win over Point Beach.
Frank has always preached that he does not coach a team but a family and many of his ex-players were on hand on a sun-scorched 90-degree day at the baseball stadium that bears his name. Some had not been to a South game in years but did not want to miss history and indeed it just might be the last major milestone for the 74-year old who along with his wife Cecilia is kept busy with their 11 grandchildren. When I shouted “let’s go for 1000” afterwards he responded with “will never happen.” Of course who could have predicted 900 back in 1978?
There was no reason to expect Phil Mickelson to be a contender at this weekend’s PGA Championship. He had played in 15 PGA Tour events this year, finished no higher than 21st and missed the cut in six of them. Plus less than a month shy of his 51st birthday nobody at that age had ever won a golf major. That’s why sports is so great as Mickelson navigated a brutal Ocean course at Kiawah Island, South Carolina win his sixth major and first since 2013.
Old guys truly do rule!
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