Friday, November 03, 2006
But he's too old
Reason 4: Rickey's not too old
Julio Franco was born on August 23, 1958. The very same year that brought us Alaska, NASA and the Cuban Revolution. It was also the same year of Rickey Henderson's birth--barely. God gave earth the beautiful gift of Rickey Henderson on the same day as his own son's birth: December 25th.
Julio Franco's pro career began in 1982 and through today, has hardly a blemish to it. This past season, at the ripe age of 47, he clocked an impressive season average of .273 in 165 ABs as a Mets bench player. Franco is one of many Major League players in history to have destroyed the 40 year age barrier and gone on to prove year after year that oldies can still be goodies. Rickey Henderson, in his fortieth year (as a Met, no less) posted an eye-popping .315 average, proving to the world that like several notable players before him, age means nothing.
Were Rickey to sign on with an AL team for 2007, he would by far be the oldest player, outliving veteran Randy Johnson by a staggering 57 months. Yet in the NL, Rickey would be the second oldest, by four months, to the venerable Mr. Franco. And if he gets signed to an NL team, why shouldn't it be the one where he could take comfort in not being the oldest on the field?