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Pitcher’s perfect inspiration

The Union editorial board

Persons in Nevada County of a certain age – and there are many of us – got a thrill Tuesday night when 40-year-old Randy Johnson – the Arizona Diamondbacks’ “Big Unit” – pitched a perfect game. For you non-baseball fans, that’s as good as it gets, even better than a no-hitter, which is rare enough. In a perfect game, no batters get on base – 27 up, 27 down.

Even more special, Johnson’s mother, Carol, lives here in western Nevada County (Lake Wildwood, to be exact), a place where retirees are redefining the meaning of “senior.”

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal said evidence is everywhere that people are living and staying active longer: “There are more 60- and 70-year-olds running marathons, buying Harleys, dating online and going to rock concerts.”

Here in the foothills, seniors are hikers, skiers, golfers, dancers. They also are busy volunteers, supporting more than 300 nonprofit organizations in our relatively unpopulated county.

One can look at Johnson, along with other over-40s stars who are still going strong – Astros hurler Roger Clemens, Raiders receiver Jerry Rice, Lakers Karl Malone, Tour de France bicycle-racing legend Lance Armstrong, the Red Wings’ Chris Chelios -and believe they will live active lives long after they retire from their professional careers . . . whenever that may be. After all, the Big Unit made perfection look easy this week, and he just came back from knee surgery.

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