95-year-old man leads Young Viejos

'Young Old Men' play softball twice a week in Coral Gables

Published On: Jan 30 2013 01:54:33 PM EST   Updated On: Jan 02 2013 05:00:00 PM EST
Tony Snetro
CORAL GABLES, Fla. -

Twice a week, the Young Viejos or "young old men," take the softball field in Coral Gables, and they are led by 95-year-old Tony Snetro, a seasoned veteran.

"I'm not a home run hitter. I used to get hits when I started playing here years ago. My batting average was .570," said Snetro. "But now it's zero."

Snetro has been playing for 16 years on a team of players 65 and older.

"That's the fun of it. You know, we have lots of fun and we're all good friends," he said. "I can't play ball like I did, but this is therapy for me."

One of seven children, Snetro grew up during the Great Depression, met his wife Josephine on a blind date, and moved to South Florida more than 50 years ago.

"I was still working while I was in my 80s. I was doing all kind of repair work," he said.

So what's Snetro's secret for a long life?

"I tell them eat hot peppers," he said.

And it must be working. Snetro, who says the hot peppers are good for the heart, only takes two pills each day -- a baby aspirin and blood pressure medication.

"He's totally the inspiration to every one of us," said Walter Harris. "I've got another 25 years until I'm his age, so he makes us all younger."

Snetro hopes to still be playing when he turns 100.

"I couldn't sit home in a rocking chair," said Snetro with a chuckle.

Tony got an autographed ball signed by all his teammates for his birthday on December 19th.

Interested in playing or watching? Go to the Coral Gables Youth Center, located at 405 University Drive, at 9 a.m. on Tuesdays or Thursdays.

Click here for registration information.