56-Year-Old Grandfather Always Dreamed of Playing College Baseball — His Dream Just Came True

Inspiring Stories

If you think it’s too late to follow your passion, think again. 56-year-old Jim Fullan is about to change your mind.

His entire life, Fullan dreamt about playing college baseball. But, as it so often does, life had other plans.

After failing to make the baseball team in high school, Fullan gave up.

“I never took the opportunity to play in college or continue to try,” the now-divorced father of three and granddad of nine told Today. “It was always on my mind. It’s just my path took a different turn for several years after that.”

Instead of pursuing his dream, Fullan got married, joined the army, and started a family.

Grandfather Takes a Second Swing At His Dream

The years passed quickly. It wasn’t until Fullan rounded second base and started heading down the homestretch of life that he decided to Carpe Diem (seize the day). Divorced and an empty nester, his time was now.

So, he quit his 36-year career as a U.S. postmaster and instead of hitting the beaches he started hitting baseballs (and the books).

But it wasn’t easy. He was nearly benched before he even got a chance to make it to first base. No spring chicken, he struck out with several Pennsylvania community colleges, all of which refused to admit him. Finally, Montgomery County Community College decided to give him a shot.

It was all he needed. The head coach of the MCCC Mustangs, Mike Fitzgerald, who just so happens to be five years older than Fullan, told him at tryouts, “If you’re good enough, you can play.”

Fullan was good enough. He made the team.

“I could see that by him not being on the team, wouldn’t do us any good,” said Fitzgerald. “It would be an asset to have him with us.”

Field of Dreams


Fullan’s first day at the ballpark didn’t go as planned. “It was horrible,” he laughingly told NBC News. He struck out three times and had three errors. It was enough to make him seriously question what he was doing there. He nearly packed it in.

However, he persevered. “There’s a reason why I’m here. I just came at it another day,” he said.

Now, he spends his weekdays taking a full course load of college classes followed by three hours of daily baseball practice. “I’m sore every day,” he said, “but I’m in decent shape and I can still hit.”

And he doesn’t let the fact that most people mistake him for one of the coaches deter him. “The other team when we shake hands always say, ‘Good game, Coach,’” he told Today. “I stopped correcting them.”

As for his decades younger teammates? They’re more than happy to have him. “We’re all ballplayers and so is Jim,” said Connor English, one of the team’s power hitters. “He’s always happy. He loves to be here, ’cause he loves baseball.”

“His relationship with the team is really good because he is mature, he’s been through life,” Fitzgerald added. 

Not only is Fullan an inspiration to his teammates, but he’s also an inspiration to all of us too.

So often, when we reach a certain age, we think “It’s too late,” as if our dreams can’t come true; that we’ve missed our chance. But Fullan is living proof that you still have time to hit a home run.

You just need to come out swinging. Because dreams really can come true — at any age.

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