Rafael Palmeiro Signs with Independent Team at Age 53 with His Son
CLEBURNE, Texas (AP) — Rafael Palmeiro has signed to play for the independent Cleburne Railroaders at age 53, nearly 13 years after his last major league game.
The second-year American Association team announced the deal Wednesday. The Railroaders also signed Palmeiro's 28-year-old son, Patrick, who has played for other independent teams the past three seasons.
Palmeiro said in a statement issued by the team that he was "especially excited to get to do this with my son Patrick."
It was not clear exactly how much the elder Palmeiro will play or what his role will be for the Railroaders. Their stadium is about a 45-mile drive from the Texas Rangers' ballpark, where Palmeiro played 10 of his 20 major league seasons and hit his 500th homer in 2003.
Palmeiro was suspended for 10 days in 2005, his final season, following a positive test for the banned steroid Stanozolol.
The suspension in August 2005 came a few months after Palmeiro testified before a congressional panel and emphatically pointed his finger in the air when saying he had "never used steroids. Period."
Palmeiro never denied testing positive, but said he never intentionally took any banned substances and that a tainted vitamin shot caused his failed test.
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