Julio Franco, 55, to play for Independent League team
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).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