Saturday, December 5, 2009
#722) JULIO FRANCO
Julio Franco joined the New York Mets when he signed as a free agent on December 12, 2005. The veteran was brought in to serve as the primary right-handed pinch-hitter, but did receive several starts at first base during his one and a half seasons in New York. Julio established the mark of being the oldest player to hit a home run in the major leagues on May 4, 2007. His blast came off the Diamondbacks' starter, Randy Johnson in Arizona. Franco was 48 years, eight months, and 12 days old at the time. Julio had the desire to play at the age of 50, but the Mets did not agree and granted him his release on July 12, 2007.
Franco believes that his longevity and superb physical condition are a result of three rules. "Eat well, work hard, and get proper rest." Julio said, "There are no magic pills." Franco got his first experience coaching when he served as the manager of the Gulf Coast League Mets in 2009.
Julio Franco signed his card at a Gulf Coast League game in Florida for my friend Tom during the 2009 season.