Ex-Indian Julio Franco To Join Japanese Team as Player-Manager

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Former Cleveland Indians infielder Julio Franco can’t quit baseball, even at age 56. Franco agreed to a deal with the Ishikawa Million Stars of Japan’s Baseball Challenge League (which is not connected to Nippon Professional Baseball, Japan’s main league) to become their player-manager, despite being almost 60 years old.

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The Indians released Franco way back in 1997, ending his second tenure with the Tribe at age 38, following his first which lasted from 1983 until after the 1988 season. Franco had also played the 1996 season with Cleveland. Franco played in the Major Leagues for 10 years after the Indians moved on, last appearing in MLB with the Atlanta Braves in the 2007 season. He also played for the Philadelphia Phillies, Texas Rangers, Milwaukee Brewers, Chicago White Sox, New York Mets, and one at bat with the Tampa Bay Rays (then Devil Rays) in 1999.

Franco actually retired from playing baseball until last year, when he became the player-manager of the Fort Worth Cats. It seemed to be mostly a publicity stunt, but he did go 6-27, which isn’t too bad at age 55. He’s managing former Indians reliever Kaz Tadano (who’s far more famous for what he did before joining the Indians), making it two names I never expected to hear in 2015 in one post.

Original source: Cleveland Scene

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