Julio Franco, 55, to play for Independent League team

  • David Whitlock

There are veterans, and then there are veterans. Former major leaguer Julio Franco is truly a veteran. At the age of 55, he will be playing for a home series for the Fort Worth Cats, and Independent minor league team (United League) not far from Arlington and the Texas Rangers, a team for which Franco played for five seasons, including his three All-Star appearances. According to the Fort Worth Cats website, Franco will play nine games from May 20 through May 28.

“I’m very excited about the opportunity to play and coach in Fort Worth and reconnect with my friends, former teammates and Texas Rangers staff members,” said Julio Franco. “I love Fort Worth and I’m very excited about the opportunity to work with the younger players and entertain the fans.”

The move will allow Franco to claim five decades of professional baseball (1982 – 2014) According to the Cats Franco is one of only six known players with 4000 hits across all professional leagues, along with Pete Rose, Ty Cobb, Ichiro Suzuki, Stan Musial, and Jigger Statz (who the heck is that).

Credit: Scott Audette/AP.

Credit: Scott Audette/AP.

Franco appeared on the National Baseball Hall of Fame ballot in 2013, garnishing but six votes and 1.1%, rendering him off the ballot for the future. It’s unclear if he got a major league call whether that might reset a five year clock?

– David Whitlock

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David Whitlock

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David (a.k.a. Longhorndave or lhd_on_sports) joined the staff late in the 2012 season and moved to Site Manager in early 2013. A lifelong Houston Astros fan (and mini-season ticket holder for 9 years) he attends 20+ games per year. A statistics freak, David still keeps score the "old fashioned way" on occasion (and has kept manual score of World Series games since 1986 and retains the sheets). He was a featured guest weekly on the Phil Naessens Show. He is also a Texas Longhorns alumnus and huge football and baseball fan of his alma mater. When he isn't watching or writing about baseball, he works as a contractor at NASA Johnson Space Center. He lives by the mantra "a bad day at the ballpark is better than a good day anywhere else."

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