Rafael Palmeiro was a super star back in the day. The Cuban-born slugger is one of only five players to record 500 homeruns as well as 3,000 hits, joining Hall of Fame inductees Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, and Eddie Murray, as well as Alex Rodriguez in the prestigious club. Of course, this feat comes with a bit of a drawback, the same drawback that has kept him out of the Hall of Fame along with Rodriguez, Barry Bonds, , Sammy Sosa, and Mark McGwire – Steroids.
The accusations, which he famously denied with a passion, would end up spelling the end of his career. Palmeiro was 40-years old when Jose Canseco first stirred up steroid talk associated with his former teammate when Palmeiro was named in Canseco’s book as a fellow user. Later in the 2005 season, he tested positive for anabolic steroids and was suspended for 10 games. 2005 would be his final MLB season.
For now, that is.
Apparently Palmeiro has kept himself in shape and now he is seeking a redemption. He has maintained to this day that he never intentionally taken steroids, and he wants to prove that he’s still a slugger capable of playing at the big league level.
“There’s no doubt I can do it,” Palmeiro stated in an interview with Ken Rosenthal. “I’ve taken care of myself really well. Everything feels better than when I played.”
To put it into perspective how old Palmeiro is, both of his sons have grown up and been a part of Minor League systems. His oldest son Patrick played three seasons in the White Sox system while his youngest son, Preston, is currently a farmhand on the team Palmeiro was such a big part of – the Baltimore Orioles.
Two years ago Palmeiro made his independent league debut for the Sugar Land Skeeters, the team his son Patrick played for at the time.
While this story of something-to-prove reminds us of the major motion picture Mr. 3000, the reality is that there is not much of a likeliness that teams would want a 53-year old stepping into the batter’s box.
Even Canseco weighed in on the potential comeback
(H/T Ken Rosenthal)