Rafael Palmeiro Signs Pro Baseball Deal ... At 53 Years Old!
10 May, 2018, 12:43
A person familiar with the situation confirmed Wednesday that Palmeiro is finalizing a deal to play for the Cleburne Railroaders, a team in the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball.
"Nobody gave me a chance to go to spring training", Palmiero said in a text message to the Dallas Morning News. Only now, Palmeiro isn't necessarily joking, even though he is 53 and last wore a major league uniform in 2005. He was drafted in the seventh round by the Orioles in 2016.
Palmeiro was suspended for 10 days in 2005, his final season, following a positive test for the banned steroid Stanozolol.
He paid a heavy price for being baseball's first superstar to test positive under baseball's new perfomance-enhancing drug program.
Palmeiro returned from his suspension and played in seven more games for the Orioles before retiring in September that year. Palmeiro told The Athletic in December that he was planning a return to Major League Baseball. He played in 20 big league seasons, half of those with the Texas Rangers.
A three-time Gold Glove first baseman with a sweet left-handed swing, Palmeiro is one of only six players with 3,000 hits and 500 homers.
"Maybe 12 years later, if I can come back and prove I don't need anything as an older player with an older body, then people might think, 'OK, maybe he didn't do anything intentionally, '" Palmeiro told The Athletic.
He also played for an independent team in 2015, when he laced up for the Sugar Land Skeeters.
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