Rafael Palmeiro of the Baltimore Orioles returns a ball during batting practice before the game against the Oakland Athletics at McAfee Coliseum in Oakland, California, on August 15, 2005.

(Photo by cdm, 2005)

53-Year-Old Rafael Palmeiro Hits Home Run In Return To Baseball

Rafael Palmeiro hit the last of his 569 major league home runs on July 30, 2005, while playing his final season for Baltimore.

May 22, 2018 - 8:56 am
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CLEBURNE, Texas (AP) — Rafael Palmeiro still has power, even at 53.

After hitting more than 500 home runs in the major leagues, Palmeiro went deep Monday night for the first time in his return to baseball with an independent team.

He connected in the fifth inning for the Cleburne Railroaders , who went on to a 4-3 loss in 11 innings against the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks.

Starting for the first time this season at first base, where he spent the majority of his 20-year big league career, Palmeiro batted sixth in the lineup, right behind his son, Patrick. The elder Palmeiro got his first two hits of the season after going 0 for 8 in his first two games for the second-year American Association team.

Rafael Palmeiro hit the last of his 569 major league home runs on July 30, 2005, while playing his final season for Baltimore. He was suspended for using steroids two days later and has never come close to Hall of Fame induction despite being one of only six players in MLB history with 3,000 hits and 500 home runs.

Coincidentally, it happened on the same day that Juan Soto, the youngest player in the majors at 19, has hit a three-run homer in his first career start for the Washington Nationals.

Soto was called up to Washington on Sunday, becoming the first 19-year-old to make his major league debut since Dodgers pitcher Julio Urias in 2016. Soto entered in the eighth inning as a pinch-hitter.