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Big League Stew

Hoax? Bernando LaPallo, the 111-year-old Yankees fan, cannot prove that he is really 111 years old

Kevin Kaduk
Big League Stew

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Jeter and LaPallo (AP)

When Bernando LaPallo dropped by Yankee Stadium to visit Derek Jeter and his teammates this weekend, many people said he didn't look like his claimed age of 111.

Turns out that there's good reason for that. The Arizona resident has no way to prove his age and a consultant with Guinness World Records tells the Associated Press that verified age claim records show LaPallo was born in 1910, not 1901. That would make him 102 or 103. Still rather impressive for a guy who looks in his 80s, but not quite 110.

But, hey, what's 10 years when you're getting unfettered access to one of the biggest teams in the universe? LaPallo won over the New York Yankees, Major League Baseball and many national outlets, including this one, with his appearance. He claims to have met Babe Ruth before the legend's major league debut and that he attended Yankees games when they were known as the Highlanders and played at Hilltop Park.

For his part, LaPallo is sticking with his claim that he's the second oldest man in the world.

From the Associated Press:

LaPallo told the AP on Sunday that many people doubt him because he's in such good condition.

"It is hard to believe," he said by telephone. "And because I can pass for 65 or 70, people say it's impossible."

LaPallo's granddaughter said his birthdate was incorrectly written down as 1910 instead of 1901 at a Social Security office in Florida during the mid-1930s. Ekayani Chamberlin, who runs a fitness Web site with her grandfather and promotes his lectures on aging, says the family doesn't have an official record of his birth in Brazil.

Well, that's convenient. Something will really start to smell fishy if LaPallo starts talking about the death of a 111-year-old girlfriend he met on the Internet but never in person.

This wouldn't be the first time that LaPallo has popped up in the news for his age. He attracted attention of a fradulent age web site when an Arizona TV station celebrated his 111th birthday last fall.

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