Friday, December 16, 2005

Hi, I'm Julio Franco, and I'm older than your Dad.

Julio then...

...And Now

I thought it might be prudent to throw a little love Julio's way seeing that he just signed a two year deal with the Mets worth a reported $2.2 million. Talk about a career with some longevity. He signed his first deal in 1978, the year Mike and I were born. Finally made it to the bigs in '83, in which he nearly won NL Rookie of the Year (only to be beat out buy none other than the Straw himself). His stat line is so long it requires an actual scroll down the page.

He played in both Mexico and Japan, during a stint of three or so years in the late 90's (Can you say visionquest?) and has stuck with the Braves ever since. He's never played in a World Series and went to the playoffs only one time ('96 Cleveland) before landing in Atlanta (By the way, are the Braves the worst postseason team in MLB history?). But now he's gonna be on a Mets team that may have a chance to take him to that World Series, and don't think for one second that they'd let that story go. How many times next year are we going to have to listen to Tim McCarver say something about how this player or that player wasn't even born when Franco was a rookie?

In an age where backs and knees start to deteriorate at 35, it's pretty amazing this guy is still playing at all, much the less playing at a fairly decent level. Does he belong in the Hall, no probably not. Does he deserve the respect of true baseball fans? Yeah, I think so.

(Sidenote: In Decmeber of 1982 Julio was traded by the Philadelphia Phillies with Jay Baller, Manny Trillo, George Vukovich, and Jerry Willard to the Cleveland Indians for none other than the legendary...Von Hayes. who may or may not be the Devil according to that site.)