Julio Franco: Back In Mexican League

Julio Franco: Back In Mexican League

Julio Franco

It looks like Julio Franco has been forced out of MLB yet again.  Franco has always dreamed of playing in the Majors at age 50.  Currently at age 49, Franco has returned to the Mexican League to try to keep the dream alive.

This season Franco has signed with the Tigres de Quintana Roo to play first base in the party city of Cancun.

I’m here because I believe I can continue playing ball,” Franco said in a telephone interview.

“Back in ’99,” (referring to a previous season in the Mexican League), “if I had stopped playing, I wouldn’t have had eight more years in the big leagues. I think I can still play in the big leagues. I believe I can still help a ball club off the bench. I just want to play till I’m 50. I believe God is going to give me that opportunity.”

Franco is also serving as the team’s hitting coach, with an eye on the next phase of his career: managing.  Franco believes that this will be his last year of playing professional ball and hopes that with a good run in the Mexican League he might be able to help a big league team not set at first base later on in the season.

Chuck Berry, Franco’s agent, said he contacted all 30 teams this winter advising them of Franco’s interest in continuing to play, then followed up with about a dozen teams that weren’t set at first base. No one was interested. Franco batted .222 in 90 at-bats with the Mets and the Atlanta Braves last season.

“He’s probably in better shape than he’s ever been,” Berry said. “He started a new workout scheme this off-season, focusing on core stuff, not a lot of lifting, a lot of baseball movements.”

If Franco does not make it back to the majors this season, he will retire with a .298 career batting average in 2,527 games over 23 seasons.

Julio Franco Mexican League

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6 replies on “Julio Franco: Back In Mexican League”
  1. says: Kman

    Hopefully someone (most likely in the NL) gives him a pinch hitting role later in the season. He’s probably waiting things out for an injury. At the worst, a team could bring him in near the end of the season as a 50 year old man gimmick.

    3000+ hits in my eyes. Hopefully play from other “outsider” league players gives more credibility to Franco’s accomplishments across all leagues in which he’s played in.

  2. says: Early

    Kman, he is a HOFer in your eyes?

    I foresee an oldman gimmick a la Minnie Minoso and Gordie Howe. Pretty weak way to make a record.

  3. says: Darrick

    Man, I remember going to Tribe games as a kid in the 80’s. Julio has been my favorite player ever since. I even went to see him a few times in Texas.

    I had planned to go see him last year when the Mets were in Cincinnati, but they cut him about a week before. The Braves never came close enough to where I could make the road trip after they picked him up. Oh well.

    It’s to bad he won’t make it to 3,000 in the Majors, but I’d love for him to get back into the bigs. I’m sure I’d find somewhere to make the trip.

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