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 Post subject: Julio Franco
PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2005 2:20 pm 
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Location: Saranac Lake, N.Y.
I saw Julio Franco get a pinch-hit in Atlanta's loss last night. He is 47. Over the season, he batted .275 in 108 games. Some pitchers have played into their late 40s, but what about batters? I thought of Minnie Minoso. It turns out he retired at 41. He came out of retirement at 59, but that was a stunt. Can anybody name any other hitters who played at Franco's age?


Last edited by ADKbrown on Sun Oct 09, 2005 3:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2005 2:32 pm 
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None come to mind. The Splendid Splinter was 42 when he retired. Franco and Rickey Henderson are/were amazing physical specimens who never seemed to get out of shape as they aged.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2005 8:12 pm 
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Location: 60'6" from home plate
Per baseball-reference.com, other than annoying Minoso-like appearances (I can't stand players who "set" records via such stunts) by a couple of players, the only position player that comes close is Pete Rose (age 45 in 1986). Manny Mota was 44 in his last season as a pinch hitter in 1982, as was Ricky H. in his last big league season.

It's also amazing in that Franco isn't just a pinch hitter -- in his 108 games this year he had 233 ABs.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2005 10:45 am 
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JeffW wrote:
Per baseball-reference.com, other than annoying Minoso-like appearances (I can't stand players who "set" records via such stunts) by a couple of players, the only position player that comes close is Pete Rose (age 45 in 1986). Manny Mota was 44 in his last season as a pinch hitter in 1982, as was Ricky H. in his last big league season.


And Rose's last years were quite unproductive. He was a first baseman who hit for neither power nor average. It helps when you're the manager.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2005 11:23 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2002 12:01 am
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Location: Baltimore
JeffW wrote:
It's also amazing in that Franco isn't just a pinch hitter -- in his 108 games this year he had 233 ABs.


Good point. Most hitters can play in their late 30s or early 40s only because of the DH rule. Barry Bonds probably could hit at least 800 HRs if he switches leagues.

When Orlando Cepeda played for the Red Sox on crippled knees at the end of his career, he'd hit the ball off the Green Monster, then practically walk to first. If the ball cleared the wall, he walked all the way home. With those limitations he still was a fair DH.

Franco is better with the glove than at least one first baseman still in the playoffs. Not a lot of power for a first baseman, no speed to compensate with on the basepaths, but a valuable part-time starter and steadying influence on a young team.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2005 1:42 pm 
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Location: Boston, MA
Using data from baseball-reference.com, I just calculated that Franco has hit a cumulative .292 since the Braves brought him back into the majors in 2001.

His total at-bats for the period, 1178, add up to basically two full seasons.

I just can't stop marveling at how incredible this is for a man who is now 47 years of age -- especially one who had a total of one major-league at-bat during the years 1998-2000. There must be a great story here that I've missed out on by living in an American League city.


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