Julio Franco didn’t reach his goal, but I’m still impressed. He retired from baseball at age 49.
Franco had set a goal of playing major league baseball at the age of 50. He didn’t quite make it.
Yet, last year with the Atlanta Braves, he became the oldest player in MLB history to hit a home run. And he did it off “The Big Unit” (Randy Johnson).
His professional career took him to Atlanta, New York (Mets), Cleveland, Texas, Chicago (White Sox), Milwaukee and Tampa Bay. He also played in South Korea, Japan and Mexico.
Franco was playing ball in Mexico this year when he concluded that no major league team was going to call — and his 23-year career was over.
But there is no sadness in Mudville or anywhere else in baseball. Julio was a class act who inspired many.
He was known as a person of integrity and faith. He was also known to snatch a candy bar out of the hand of a teammate half his age — and give him a lecture on healthy habits.
Franco set an unreachable goal for himself. Yet his high aim is probably why he became the oldest major league player to hit a homer, and didn’t hang up his cleats until age 49. Well done.