Modern baseball fans are used to hearing stories about the legendary Babe Ruth, but Bernando LaPallo had the privilege of actually meeting him. The 111-year-old fan was the guest of honor at Saturday’s New York Yankees game, and said the visit was “the greatest day of my life.”
A lifelong Yankee fan, LaPallo has been watching the Bronx Bombers since he was 9-years old, MLB.com reports. He’s old enough to remember the opening of the first Yankee Stadium in 1923, but he never thought that he’d get a chance to watch a game at the team’s new field.
On Saturday, LaPallo’s dream of meeting the current Yankees roster came true. He was allowed onto the field before the team’s matchup with the Boston Red Sox, watching Robinson Cano and Mark Teixiera take batting practice.
LaPallo also met New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi and had an extended conversation with team captain Derek Jeter. “I spoke about his accident and hoped he would get back to hit more homers and steal more bases,’’ LaPallo, who has lived in New York for 90 years, told the New York Post.
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LaPallo's used to hanging out with Yankees legends. He can still recall meeting legendary slugger Babe Ruth 93 years ago. "I shook his hand and he said, 'My greatest admirer, my youngest admirer,'" LaPallo told MLB.com. "I remember that like yesterday."
While LaPallo’s century-long span as a baseball fan has landed him in the news, it’s merely a footnote in his life. In 1928, he earned a culinary arts degree from the Sorbonne in Paris, MLB.com reports. He also lived in Harlem during the Harlem Renaissance, fought in World War II and ran a massage therapy business.
Nowadays, LaPallo works as an author. He wrote his first book at the age of 107 and a second work, titled “Beyond 100 -- How To Live Well Into Your Second Century,” is scheduled to be released on his 112th birthday.