Monday, November 10, 2014

1993 TOPPS FINEST: #161 JULIO FRANCO

LONGEVITY, THY NAME IS JULIO FRANCO.


DUDE CAN STILL HIT, EVEN AT 55.

DEFINING THE PLAYER

  • The Methuselah of Swat, Julio Franco made history by becoming the oldest regular position player in history at age 48 in 2007. Franco was the oldest to homer, pinch-homer, hit two in a game and park a grand slam. He played 23 seasons in the majors for eight teams, slashing .298/.365/.417, amassing 2,586 hits, clubbing 173 homers and driving in 1,194 runs. 

DEFINING MOMENT

  • On May 4, 2007, Franco homered off #154 Randy Johnson, reaching the pool at Chase Field in Arizona, to become he oldest player to go deep. He also stole a base, becoming the oldest to achieve that, a little more than three months from his 49th birthday. 

DEFINING SEASON

  • Franco won his only batting title in '91, hitting a career-high .341 with the Rangers. He also set a career-high in on-base percentage with .408 and reached 200 hits for the only time in his career.

FIVE FINAL FACTS

  1. Franco was signed by the Phillies as an amateur free agent way back in '78.
  2. Spent most of the '80s with the Indians after they acquired him in the six-player deal in '82 that included Von Hayes and Manny Trillo.
  3. Stole 30-plus bases four times in his career.
  4. Played professionally in five decades, beginning as a 19-year-old minor-leaguer.
  5. Joined the Fort Worth Cats of the independent United League in May as player-coach at 55. 

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