Saturday, April 29, 2006 - Old Man at Shea

This one isn't "strange," per se, just unusual. The New York Mets' Julio Franco, 47 years old, has just set a record for the oldest player to hit a home run in a regular-season game. Says he wants to hit a homer at 50. More power to him. (OK, that wasn't intended to be a pun.) - This player is really, really old school

Update: on Thursday 4/27 Franco stole a base. It wasn't the best situation to steal a base in -- he left first base empty with one out and Carlos Delgado, a power hitter, at bat -- but I like that hustle, especially in an older... make that the oldest player. The only player in major league history older than him to have stolen a base, did it almost 100 years ago. For the Mets' sake, I hope Julio continues to NOT act his age.

Too bad Rickey Henderson didn't have that kind of hustle in him when the Mets had him. His conviction that he is and will always be a SUPERstar is what did him in. He's a year older than Franco, but Franco's been playing continuously since he joined the majors, even going to Japan and Korea when he had to, taking nothing for granted. Superstar Rickey "bided his time" in the minors, convinced that a major-league callup was just minutes away. Well, it's been two years now, and no one's calling. Better hang up that pride, Rickey: retire, and take a coaching or TV job somewhere, instead of hanging around ballparks looking desperate.

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