Ten years after last playing in the major leagues, Rafael Palmeiro is returning to professional baseball for at least one weekend. The former Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles first baseman will suit up for the Sugar Land Skeeters of the independent Atlantic League on Friday night.
It’s more than just your average minor-league gimmick though. Palmeiro, 50, will get to play with his son, Patrick, a third baseman for the Skeeters. If Palmeiro takes his usual spot at first base, 50 percent of the Skeeters infield would be Palmeiros. Skeeters manager Gary Gaetti, himself a former major-league All-Star, isn’t yet sure where the elder Palmeiro will play. From CBS Houston:
“Sugar Land manager Gary Gaetti is unsure if Palmeiro will play first base or serve as a designated hitter but he knows that it will be one of the unique moments in the franchise’s history.
“I feel like this is one of those special memories in baseball,” he said Wednesday night. “We had Roger (Clemens) pitch to Koby and to be able to play in a game with your son or dad, is rare, rare, rare.”
As Gaetti alluded to, this is familiar territory for the Skeeters. Roger Clemens signed with Sugar Land in 2012 and started two games, with his son Koby as the catcher. In 2014, former NBA star Tracy McGrady started four games for Sugar Land in his ill-fated attempt at starting a baseball career at 35.
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Though Sugar Land is a long way from the major leagues, the Palmeiros would join a rare group of father-son duos on the same team. In 1990, Ken Griffey and Ken Griffey Jr. were teammates with the Seattle Mariners. On Sept. 14 of that year they even hit back-to-back home runs. In 2001, Tim Raines and Tim Raines Jr. were teammates with the Orioles.
Rafael Palmeiro is one of only five players with 3,000 career hits and 500 home runs. He was a four-time All-Star and three time Gold Glover. Patrick Palmeiro, 25, was a 22nd round draft pick of the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2008.
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