For 95-year-old women’s baseball icon Maybelle Blair, whose story helped inspire the 1992 film A League of Their Own, getting older doesn’t mean that you stop making life-changing decisions. In fact, the nonagenarian made the momentous choice to come out publicly as gay earlier this year.
“After 95 years, I’m able to be myself, and I’m so thrilled about that,” Blair told In The Know by Yahoo at the MAKERS Conference in Dana Point, Calif., where she was a speaker. “Because it’s about time I opened up that rusty door and out I came.”
The quick-witted Blair, who’s also known for her oversized sports glasses, puff of white hair and baseball-bat-inspired cane, was happy to offer advice for younger people (you know, those under 95) who are looking for a little inspo from a verified legend.
While Blair weighed in on everything from career to friendships to coming out, her overall message centered on enjoying life and living it on one’s own terms.
“I grew up playing baseball as a little girl. And it’s all I ever knew because we didn’t have all this TikTok and goo goo and what have you,” the 95-year-old said.
She added that baseball became her passion and she encouraged younger generations to find theirs too.
“Follow your dream,” she stressed. “Whatever you do, never give up that dream because the dream is there if you want it hard enough.”
On staying young on the inside and out
“Enjoy every day of your life,” Blair said.
And if you don’t want to do something, Blair said, “don’t do it” — not only for you but also so you “don’t make everybody else miserable” in the process.
“If you go someplace,” she added, “have a good time or stay at home.”
Blair is big on friendship and told young audiences to never give up on a good friend — and don’t take advantage of one either.
“When you have a good friend, you have the best thing in life,” she said.
On coming out
Blair was eager to support LGBTQ youth and encourage them to take the often difficult step of coming out.
“I’m so thrilled that I was able to do that at 95,” Blair told In The Know.
While it took her decades, she encourages others to take that step earlier.
“At this age, my true sense is that I am now myself and wished I could have done that when I was younger, so I’m advising all of you young kids, if you are gay, please tell people and let them know this is your life and you want to live your life, and that’s the way it should be.”
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