By Steve LaMontia, Director of Communications
Don Carson lives on a tidal creek in Darien, Georgia, which is on the coast about an hour south of Savannah, where he plays in the Savannah MABL 33+ division. Don started his adult baseball journey in Athens, Georgia in 2007, 39 years after he last played baseball at TCU. As Don said, “That’s a tough math problem, but luckily I happen to know I’m 71.” That’s pretty impressive to be 71 years ‘young’ and battle the youngsters in the 33-over division.
Don very thoughtfully answered some questions for us when we asked how his family is faring in this pandemic atmosphere and also how he is keeping baseball on the front burner. Here are some of Don’s observations:
“Because of the virus, our season is presently suspended, even though there are only four cases in my little county. I’ve been lucky, but my sons live in the hotbeds of Seattle and New York City. The one in Seattle is a chef, and works for FareStart, a non-profit preparing and distributing food for hunger relief during the pandemic. Before the pandemic, his job was distributing food to shelters and teaching recovering drug addicts the basics of cooking so they can get jobs. My son in NYC is an out of work bartender and DJ. He does some DJ work streaming, but these days, there’s not much work. He totally avoids mass transit and rides his bike from Brooklyn to Manhattan regularly. He’s also a photographer, so lately he has been taking a lot of photos of New York’s empty streets. He would be in terrible shape without his stimulus check and just got on unemployment.
For me the pandemic has become a model of how we are all linked together. If someone doesn’t have medical insurance, it puts other people at risk because the sick won’t get proper medical care. People have to pay their bills, so if they don’t have money, they will go to work, either risking themselves or risking their fellow workers.
With the Savannah league in suspension, my team has been in touch regularly with texting, sharing bad humor and occasional information. But we are planning on starting up again on May 17, so I’m getting together with a few teammates, while maintaining social distancing, to throw and hit in cages. I also try to spend some time just swinging a bat every couple of days. Five to ten minutes does a lot for me to keep some quickness in my swing. Otherwise, I try to keep moving.
Riding my bike every day keeps the joints limber, but I gave up running a long time ago. I have a high school football knee injury, and sprinting around the bases, aided by adrenaline, is all I can do! (which should mean I’m hitting at least one triple per game;) I’ve been able to avoid a knee replacement with PRP therapy. That’s Platelet Rich Plasma, injecting your own centrifuged blood into the joint, which helps healing. I also have regular treatments with a BEMER. That’s Bio-Electro-Magnetic-Energy-Regulation. It essentially runs an electro-magnetic force field through the body, which increases blood flow in the capillaries by 30%. This really helps with recovery times and anything else that your body needs blood for. Other than that, I have a very specific 15-minute regimen I go through before I get out of bed to help with all my encroaching maladies.
I haven’t done any tournaments in four years. I need more recovery time for my knee, and recovery time is something a tournament doesn’t offer.
My wife, Susan Murphy, 72, and I had planned a trip to Alaska this year, but that was cancelled. She is planning a tour with an aerial dance group around August. Hopefully that will happen. She teaches and performs aerial dance on the dance trapeze, which is something I make — carbon fiber dance trapezes — and sell around the world. We also put on shows at our house/studio (called The Marsh Studio, which I designed) offering aerial performance for as many as 100 people. Otherwise, I have been a photographer for 40 years, and my latest project is a book of my work, which will be called Embodyment, taken with my wife, mostly in the Southwest over the last 25 years, melding her body with nature.