SportsProf

(Hopefully) good sports essays and observations for good sports by a guy who tries (and can sometimes fail) to be a good sport.

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Sunday, May 04, 2008

Julio Franco Retires

It's a sad day in baseball when the ageless Franco hangs up the spikes and for those of us who rejoiced that there actually was a player in the bigs who was older than we are. Sure, we'll root for the ageless forty-somethings who rely upon ibuprofen, ointments, ultrasound, ice and TENS units, among others, to keep them going from game to game. But there was something about Franco, his physical conditioning and his refusal to quit that was quite compelling.

Because he was a position player. Most of the forty-somethings -- Jamie Moyer, Tommy Glavine, Randy Johnson -- are pitchers. Sure, there's the occasional Moises Alou, who will hit until his 60, who plays into his forties, but it's much more rare in the current era for a position player to play into his forties than a pitcher. And Franco played -- okay, at the end, not so well -- until he was 48! And not in the Minnie Minoso sense of play, either. He was on active rosters making contributions, occasionally belting Major League stuff into the gaps with conviction.

Thanks, Julio, for an outstanding journey! We'll miss you.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anne said...

I will miss the great chap too. Take care Franco.

12:40 PM  

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