Ex-Brave Julio Franco to play in independent league

He turns 56 in August, but Julio Franco won’t accept that his playing days are over. Almost seven years since he last played in the big leagues, Franco joined the Fort Worth Cats of the independent United League as a player/coach.

Playing for the Cats will allow Franco to play professionally in his fifth decade. He signed his first pro contract with the Phillies in 1978 and made his major league debut with them in 1982 and was National League Rookie of the Year the next season. His last season in the majors was 2007, with the Braves.

Julio Franco is congratulated after a hit in 2007.

Julio Franco is congratulated after a hit in 2007.

Franco plans to join the Cats for their first homestand of the season, which begins Tuesday against the Rio Grande Valley WhiteWings.

Franco was 42 when the Braves bought his contract from the Mexico City Tigers. At an age when most players walk away from the game, Franco flourished again. He batted .291 in 501 games with the Braves, hitting 29 homers and driving in 179 runs.

In his 23 major league seasons, he batted .298 with 2,586 hits. He hit 173 homers, drove in 1,194 runs and had a .365 on-base percentage.

11 comments Add your comment

corndawg

May 16th, 2014
8:13 pm

Good for him. Super person, player and example. Best wishes.

Columbus

May 16th, 2014
10:15 pm

Love of the game….if you have not noticed, his playing days are not over. Like Satchel Paige….Julio might become the oldest baseball player in ever…no matter if its pro or in a city mens league….I am jealous Julio…enjoy the game as long as you can play it brother!

HBCU Classic Sports

May 16th, 2014
11:22 pm

Braves could use him NOW!

Rafe Hollister

May 17th, 2014
6:58 am

I’m betting that if he was on the Braves today, his BA and fielding % would be much higher than BJ’s.

Triple C

May 17th, 2014
7:51 am

Can he play 2B or CF? We have openings there for him

BCC0224

May 17th, 2014
12:53 pm

Mad respect for Julio Franco. Maybe he’ll hit enough another MLB team would take a chance on him.

smartie

May 17th, 2014
4:43 pm

awesome! you the man, Julio!

Rodney Branton

May 17th, 2014
6:35 pm

Love the way he plays the game. Braves could use him, AGAIN!

Virginia Tide

May 17th, 2014
9:38 pm

I would take Julio over B J and Uggla any day!

booger

May 18th, 2014
8:12 am

…………….

ivan .......

May 18th, 2014
8:13 am

Been gone TOO long……….yall missed me??