The Union Recorder

Local Sports

June 3, 2013

Yankees fan says he's 111, but has no proof of age

NEW YORK — A baseball fan who says he's 111 years old and was saluted by the New York Yankees on the field this weekend has no proof of his age.

Bernando LaPallo chatted with Yankees star Derek Jeter before Saturday night's game against Boston. The Arizona resident playfully calls himself the Yankees' oldest fan.

But a consultant with Guinness World Records who specializes in validating the ages of older people said public records show LaPallo was born in 1910, not on Aug. 17, 1901.

"Many extreme age claims in the past have turned out to be false," researcher Robert Young told The Associated Press in an email Sunday.

Young also is the senior database administrator for the Gerontology Research Group, which keeps a list of verified age claims of supercentenarians — people who are at least 110.

Young said LaPallo would be the second-oldest man in the world if his claim was true. A man in Japan is 116.

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.

Chamberlin said the place where LaPallo was born was leveled long ago and that historians were welcome "to try to dig through the records."

"I don't have any doubt about his age, no," she said. "My grandfather has never lied to us."

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