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Major League Baseball is one of the few professional sports leagues in which there are many players who still command top dollar well into their 40s. But it’s almost unheard of for players to stick around into their 50s.
This is exactly what Julio Franco is trying to do. It has been reported that the former All-Star is looking to make a comeback and play professionally again at the age of 55. At this age, Franco is only seven years away from being able to collect Social Security.
According to MLB sources, Franco will try to make it back to the big leagues, by first playing some ball for the Fort Worth Cats of the United Baseball League. The last time Franco played in the MLB was in 2007, when he was 48 years old.
According to reports, he will be playing the role of a player and coach with the Cats, and is expected to be with the team from May 20-28. Franco was the MLB’s batting champion in 1991 and a three-time All-Star.
He said that he is very excited to get back to the game, not only teaching, but also instructing young players.
The Cats are a farm team of the Texas Rangers, and Franco stated that he is glad to be back with the organization, working with old friends and teaching young players, while hoping to entertain the fans once again himself.
Even though it is not very likely that he will be able to make it back onto a major league roster at 55, Franco is one player that should not be doubted. In fact, he holds some very impressive records that are a testament to his longevity. He was the oldest player to ever hit a grand slam at age 46 and the oldest player to hit a home run at age 48, when he was with the Mets, playing his 23rd and final season as a professional.
People attending a Cats game in late May should not be surprised if the 55 year old is able to send a couple shots out of the park against minor league pitching – it could happen.