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Playing the Game: Lexington man doesn't let two heart attacks keep him off the field

Baseball on Layfayette field
Posted at 6:21 PM, Jul 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-15 18:28:43-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Playing or watching baseball becomes a way of life for so many kids growing up.

While it's not quite always easy on the bones and muscles as you get older, that doesn't stop adults from playing.

"Your last game doesn't have to be your last game," said Chris Williams, a player and one of the organizers of the Lexington Adult Baseball League.

"You know here it doesn't have to end," he said. "We can keep going, we can keep playing. We don't have to hang up our cleats."

On high school fields across Lexington, it's where Chris and dozens of other players can feel like kids again.

"Running this league, it's a lot of work that's for sure," he said.

He has been part of the league for more than half a decade. It's his first time as one of the league's organizers. Amid the day-to-day responsibilities, he doesn't lose sight of the real purpose.

"We've got all different kinds of guys that come through here," he said. "We've got vets that come through. We've got kids who are just out of college. We've got kids who haven't played baseball, guys who haven't played baseball since they were in high school 25 years ago."

"We go through all kinds of stuff," he added. "We go through injuries together, we go through all manner of things together and we do it year after year."

Baseball being a team sport, they're the Stallions on and off the field.

"I mean I've had two heart attacks," he said. "I had my first one when I was 33 years old. I had a second one when I was 40."

"I don't do running, I don't all that stuff, but I come out here with my boys," he added. "Come out here with my dudes, my guys that I play with. I've played with a lot of these guys for a long time."

Now 45, he's three years older than the great Albert Pujols, who is the oldest player on Opening Day rosters in 2022. After two heart attacks, Williams shows us just how baseball can help heal.

"Just because you get old, doesn't mean you quit," he said. "I'll be 46 here next month. Doesn't mean my entire all the things I did as a kid or things I enjoyed doing when I was younger have to disappear."

It's that attitude he teaches to his son, Brennan.

"I've been a part of the league as long as he has since I was nine," Brennan said. "I was their bat boy for a few years."

"He has been around this dugout for a long time," Chris said. "You know, he's my dude so we do a lot together."

Both Brennan and Chris' younger son, Ellis, are ball players.

It's easy to fall in love with America's Pastime.

"After two heart attacks, you just can't quit," Chris said. "Just really what it is. You gotta keep going. Gotta keep working. You're not always going to succeed, but that's what helps you become better."

As the sun sets and creates cotton candy skies above baseball fields nationwide, it helps us remember some of the most important things in life.