Julio Franco Retires

1983_julio_franco.jpgHe didn’t make it to 50.

Julio Franco has finally “hung ’em up”, announcing yesterday that he has retired from professional baseball.

“It was the hardest decision in my life,” Franco said in an interview published Saturday by Mexican sports daily Record. “I always said I would be the first one to know the exact moment. I think the numbers speak for themselves, the production speaks and this is the right moment.”

In addition to being the oldest man to pinch-run, the oldest man to hit a homerun, the oldest man to steal a base, the oldest man to hit into a double play, the oldest man to …. well, you get it …. Franco also finished his 30-year career with 4229 hits (MLB, minors, Japan, Mexico, etc., combined).

How long before the “Julio Franco as Mets manager” rumors start ?

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. isuzudude May 5, 2008 at 11:11 am
    How much consideration will Franco get for the HOF?
  2. sincekindergarten May 5, 2008 at 4:53 pm
    As the oldest to do a bunch of things that Joe highlighted, and somewhat consistently, I think that he won’t be a first-timer, but maybe in his . . . third year of consideration.
  3. joe May 5, 2008 at 11:57 pm
    I’m not sure about Julio Franco in the HOF. His longevity is impressive, to be sure, but longevity alone is not enough to get in. Otherwise, Jesse Orosco would be considered — not to mention Minnie Minoso.

    His 2500+ hits are impressive, but Alan Trammell had nearly as many, was a better all-around player, and will likely never sniff Cooperstown.

    The main knocks against Franco, in my opinion, are that the answers to these two questions are “no” : 1) did anyone ever consider him to be one of the top five players in the game? 2) did anyone ever say “this guy is a future hall of famer” ?

    My best guess is Julio Franco fits into that “not quite” category — one that includes guys like Trammell, Lou Whitaker, Dale Murphy, Jim Kaat, Tommy John, Don Mattingly, Albert Belle, Dick Allen, Joe Torre (the player), Rusty Staub, and dozens of others.

    Seriously — would you vote for Julio Franco before Mattingly or Staub? Before Jim Rice?

  4. isuzudude May 6, 2008 at 8:38 am
    Good points, Joe…and I think you’re right. Julio likely won’t be HOF bound.