×

The Story Of William Lipton

There was Tim Frisby, the 39-year-old who caught one pass with South Carolina in 2005. Billy Shoemaker won the 1986 Kentucky Derby at 54 and Mike Flynt made the football team at Sul Ross State in 2007 at the age of 59, the same age Satchel Paige pitched his last baseball game.

But you have never heard of the story of William Lipton.

In 1985, Lipton played on the varsity tennis team at Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn. He was 68 years old. After serving in World War II and working as a salesman for a department store for more than three decades, Lipton enrolled at Kingsborough and had the confidence to try out for the tennis team. He eventually was named captain.

In an article in the Bay News that year, Lipton ranked himself as the sixth best singles player, but the third best doubles player. A doctor, he said, told him he had the feet of a 30-year-old.

I'm telling this story now because Lipton passed away last week. I know because he's my fiance's grandfather. And in thinking of ways to honor him, I thought of this article.

William Lipton's story isn't known because the only known copies of the two stories about his tennis career probably existed at his wife Florence's apartment. Not any more. Here you go, Willie. This is your first, well deserved Google hit. Hope your story lives on forever.

William Lipton
William Lipton
William Lipton


William Lipton's story isn't known because the only known copies of the two stories about his tennis career probably existed at his wife Florence's apartment. Not any more. Here you go, Willie. This is your first, well deserved Google hit. Hope your story lives on forever.

William Lipton
William Lipton
William Lipton


Questions? Comments? SportsBiz@cnbc.com