BALTIMORE (WJZ)- Rafael Palmeiro stepping up in the box and taking a few practice hacks at the plate was a staple in Baltimore for years. Now, the former first baseman says he still has a few hacks still in him.
The 53-year-old slugger reportedly told The Athletic that he is confident he could still play and finish out his career on his own terms.
Palmeiro told The Athletic, “There’s no doubt in my mind I can do it. I’ve taken care of myself really well. I’ve been working out for years. Everything feels better than when I played.”
The former All-Star last played for The Orioles in 2005, a season cut short after he tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs. He was surrounded by controversy after appearing before congress earlier that year and vehemently denying that he had ever used steroids.
Palmeiro is one of only five players in MLB history with 500 home runs and 3,000 hits, though he was removed from the the Baseball Hall of Fame ballot after just four years after not receiving enough votes to remain on the ballot. He is also absent from the Orioles Hall of Fame despite his numbers in an O’s uniform.
If Palmeiro did make a Major League squad this year, he would be the oldest player in the games history, surpassing Julio Franco by more than 4 years. Franco played his last game 25 days after his 49th birthday.
Meanwhile, Palmeiro’s youngest son, Preston, is currently a member of the Orioles minor league system. He completed his first professional season last year playing 127 games for Low-A Delmarva.