From the AP: ‘Former pro Julio Franco stays busy in Japan as player-manager’
Photo: AP, Koji Sasahard & Cleveland Indians Archives
Julio Franco is still playing professional baseball. Yes, you read that correctly. AP reporter Jim Armstrong recently profiled Franco and his baseball exploits in Japan. Franco played for the Tribe from 1983-88 and notched a Silver Slugger award in the ’88 season. His career lasted across 23 years, and still seems to be going strong. (Jim’s full profile can be read by clicking here)
Here’s an excerpt from the story:
Julio Franco is getting the best of both worlds as a 56-year-old player-manager for the Ishikawa Million Stars of Japan’s semi-professional Baseball Challenge League…..
“I don’t see myself out of baseball,” Franco said in a recent interview with The Associated Press. “I can go fishing, go play golf or go to Starbucks but at the end of the day, I love baseball and this is what I want to do.”……
Playing in 10 of his team’s 14 games this season, Franco has a .333 batting average with four RBIs and six runs scored.”I wasn’t planning to play this much but one of my best hitters got hurt so I have to play first base or DH,” Franco said. “I was thinking about just pinch-hitting and playing once a week but since he got hurt I’m playing a lot more than I expected.”……
“I want to play until I’m 66,” Franco said. “That’s the goal.”