Most players make the birthday adjustment while they're still in the minor leagues (or even earlier, while in high school). But Carmen is unusual, because he managed to adjust his age during his big-league career—twice, in fact. His baseball cards for 1973, '74, and '75 show three different birth years. This means he stayed the same age for three seasons—a pretty neat trick.
"The first card had the right year, 1941," he explained. "The next season I convinced Topps [the baseball card manufacturer] that that was wrong, and they changed it to 1942. And then I don't know how I got away with it, but I came up with some other cockeyed story and convinced them that it was '43." That year apparently stuck, at least in the baseball record books. But not for Carmen, who went back to his real birthday once his baseball career ended.
"As soon as I retired," he said, "I became two years older."
TODAY IN SLATE
The Self-Made Man
The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.
Does Your Child Have Sluggish Cognitive Tempo? Or Is That Just a Disorder Made Up to Scare You?
Mitt Romney May Be Weighing a 2016 Run. That Would Be a Big Mistake.
Amazing Photos From Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution
Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada. Now, Journalists Can’t Even Say Her Name.
Transparent is the fall’s only great new show.
Lena Dunham, the Book
More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.