He’s seven years away from being able to begin collecting Social Security, but Julio Franco is ready to play ball again.
According to ESPN’s Richard Durrett, the former three-time All-Star has agreed to play a short stretch for the Fort Worth Cats of the United Baseball League.
Franco, who last played in MLB at age 48 in 2007, will work as a player-coach for the team and is slated to stay with Cats through their first homestand, from May 20 to May 28.
It’s not a long stretch, but it means a lot to the 55-year-old former big leaguer. Franco was crowned the American League batting champion in 1991 (when he hit .341) and says he’s excited just to be back playing and instructing.
"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," Franco told Durrett. "I love Fort Worth and I’m very excited about the opportunity to work with the younger players and entertain the fans."
While bringing Franco on board may seem like a gimmick or a nicety on the part of the Cats, bear in mind that this is the same man who knocked out a grand slam in MLB at the age of 46 (a league record).
Franco also holds the record for the oldest player in MLB to hit a home run, going yard at the unbelievable age of 48 in his 23rd and final MLB season while with the New York Mets in 2007.
So be on the lookout if you plan to sit in the outfield stands at a Fort Worth Cats game in the next two weeks. Franco could be sending some souvenirs your way.
On the Twitters.