Former Baltimore Orioles first baseman Rafael Palmeiro is considering attempting a return to the majors — at age 53.
Palmeiro, one of just five players in big league history with 3,000 hits and 500 homers — told The Athletic he is confident he could help a major league club if given the opportunity.
“There’s no doubt in my mind I can do it,” Palmeiro told The Athletic. “I’ve taken care of myself really well. I’ve been working out for years. Everything feels better than when I played.”
Part of the reason Palmeiro is considering a comeback is to seek redemption after the disgraceful way his career ended with the Orioles amid a suspension for performance-enhancing drugs in 2005, weeks after making a finger-wagging denial of taking PEDs during a congressional hearing.
Since then, Palmeiro’s career has been stained as he became one of the faces of the PED era. Despite his Hall of Fame credentials, he was removed from the Hall of Fame ballot after just four years because he did not receive enough votes to remain eligible. Palmeiro is also notably absent from the Orioles Hall of Fame.
“I want to prove to myself I can do it on a high level,” Palmeiro told The Athletic, “then walk away feeling good about the whole body of work.”
Palmeiro is already four years older than Julio Franco was when he was the oldest player to play in the majors. Franco played his final game 25 days after his 49th birthday.
— The Baltimore Sun