GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — When you're 83 years old you've seen of a lot, and former Mets pitching coach Phil Regan is no exception.
"Well of course wars, both my brothers were in the service in Korea and Thailand and all through there and World War II," the West Michigan native says.
At times like this, when there's confusion and panic, guys like Regan are more important than ever. They've seen the world go through ups and downs but no matter what, they've also seen it bounce back.
"The people have resiliency," he exclaims. "They can't keep us down."
Regan's admits, this is a unique situation, a situation that even took him away from the thing he loves. Now working as a senior advisor for the Mets, the West Michigan native was essentially banished from spring training even before things got really bad.
"I've been through 30 years of winter ball and never missed a game," he says with a smile. "They said 'you go home' because it's supposed to affect the older people."
For now, Regan is living in self isolation in Florida. When he does get out of the house, he's noticed a change in his neighborhood. He says it's one of the few positives to come out of this pandemic.
"I see people walking down the street, they are riding bicycles, they are talking to people. It really has brought a lot of people closer together," said Regan.
In other tough times, he's watched this happen before, but he says it never seems to last. For a guy who has seen it all, he's hoping this could be a rare first-time experience.
"In the end, it might be a good wake up for us."
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